Anna Akhmatova

(23 June 1889 – 5 March 1966 / Odessa)

Anna Akhmatova
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Anna Andreyevna Gorenko, better known by the pen name Anna Akhmatova, was a Russian and Soviet modernist poet, one of the most acclaimed writers in the Russian canon.

Akhmatova's work ranges from short lyric poems to intricately structured cycles, such as Requiem (1935–40), her tragic masterpiece about the Stalinist terror. Her style, characterised by its economy and emotional restraint, was strikingly original and distinctive to her contemporaries. The strong and clear leading female voice struck a new chord in Russian poetry. Her writing can be said to fall into two periods - the early work (1912–25) and her later work (from around 1936 until her death), divided by a decade of ... more »

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Quotations

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  • It was a time when only the dead
    smiled, happy in their peace.
    ...
    Stars of Death stood over us,
    and innocent Russia squirmed
    under the bloody boots,
    under th...
    Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966), Russian poet. "Requiem," introduction, trans. by Richard McKane (1985). Though Akhmatova's long poem about the Stalini...
  • ''The triumphs of a mysterious non-meeting are desolate ones; unspoken phrases, silent words.''
    Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966), Russian poet. "Two Poems," no. 2, l. 1 (1956), trans. by Dimitri Obolensky (1965).
  • ''Wild honey smells of freedom
    The dust—of sunlight
    The mouth of a young girl, like a violet
    But gold—smells of nothing.''
    Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966), Russian poet. "Wild Honey Smells of Freedom," lines 1-4, as translated by Lenore Mayhew and William McNaughton (1943).
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Comments about Anna Akhmatova

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  • Misha Allport (1/23/2014 11:40:00 AM)

    A restrained elegance enveloped in a Slavic midnight hue.

  • Sylva Portoian (6/26/2012 6:52:00 AM)

    She has a voice...
    No one can cross...
    She has a chant...
    Like a 'Breathing Rose'...!

  • Charmaine Sinclair (5/17/2009 7:16:00 AM)

    Her words are so simply hung. I love her words.

  • Dana Santos (4/26/2004 4:07:00 PM)

    i like it very touching

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