Anna Andreevna Akhmatova Selected Poems

ISBN 13: 9780099540878

Selected Poems

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9780099540878: Selected Poems

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY CAROL ANN DUFFY Anna Akhmatova is one of the most accomplished and well loved poets Russia has ever produced. Her moving and passionate writing has won her an ardent readership all over the world. This selection, beautifully translated by poet and novelist D.M. Thomas, illustrates her broad scope and brilliant imaginative gifts. It covers both her earlier work and the poems she produced during her persecution by the Russian authorities.

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From the Inside Flap:

This volume presents the largest selection of Anna Akhmatova's poetry yet available in English. It includes many poems translated for the first time, and it covers the whole of her career, from the love lyrics and songs which made her famous in the teens of the twentieth century to the long poems which many critics regard as her most lasting achievements.

Akhmatova, along with her contemporaries Mandelstam, Pasternak, and Tsvetaeva formed a "poetic quartet" which many Russian readers think of as the finest representatives of poetry for the last 100 years. They began their careers almost simultaneously, just before World War I. Tsvetaeva would hang herself in 1941, Mandelstam die in terrible Kolyma in 1938. Akhmatova and Pasternak lived out their lives, though not without serious problems from officialdom--Pasternak being railroaded out of the Union of Soviet Writers for winning the Nobel Prize, Akhmatova almost never being published and often being attacked as an "inner emigre," a "bourgeois" a "slut," and so on. Her long poem Requiem, given here in Robin Kemball's translation, was an expression of the vast grief felt by all those Russian women whose loved ones were ground up by GULAG, including Akhmatova's son Lev (her son by Nikolai Gumilev, the Acmeist poet shot to death by the Cheka in 1921).

The other long poem presented here, A Poem without a Hero, is a profound historical and literary meditation on the passing of the whole Silver Age of Russian culture. This poem is highly allusive, so the detailed commentaries provided by Carl R. Proffer are not just useful, but necessary.

But it is Akhmatova's early poems which have had the widest and most loving audience. As Walter Arndt writes in his Introduction: "Among the remaining witnesses of the 20th century's 'remarkable decade' in Russian poetry, 1912-1922, many still speak with animation and awe of the change of air in poetry which was heralded by Evening, Akhmatova's first volume of verse. It was placed beyond doubt two years later by her second, Rosary: a delicate but decisive discharge of lyric directness, authenticity of feeling, palpability of image and phrase." This new collection represents the early period richly.

In addition to the editor's introduction "The Akhmatova Phenomenon," there is a Chronology of the poet's fife. For students who may want to compare the translations to the originals, the Table of Contents provides a key of titles and first fines to the most easily available Russian edition.

Walter Arndt is Professor of Russian Literature at Dartmouth. His translation of Pushkin's Eugene Onegin won the Bollingen Prize. He is also translator of Pushkin Threefold and Pushkin's Ruslan and Liudmila.

About the Author:

Anna Akhmatova was born on 23 June 1889 in Odessa and grew up in Tsarskoe Selo, the imperial summer residence outside St Petersburg. Her parents separated in 1905 and she moved with her mother and siblings to the Crimea. She published her first poems in 1907. In 1910 she married the poet Nikolai Gumilev, the founder of the Acmeist school of poetry. Her collections of poetry Evening (1912), Rosary (1914), White Flock (1917), Plantain (1921) and Anno Domini MCMXXI (1921) were published to great acclaim. She and Gumilev had a son, Lev, in 1912 and divorced in 1918. Gumilev was executed for conspiracy by the Bolshevik authorities in 1921 and after this Akhmatova was treated as an enemy of the state. None of her poetry was published between 1922 and 1940 and her son was arrested and imprisoned three times between 1934 and 1956. From Six Books was published in 1940 but in 1946 she was expelled from the Union of Writers and her next major collection, The Flight of Time, did not appear until 1965. Anna Akhmatova died on 5 March 1966 and her requiem mass was attended by over five thousand mourners.

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY CAROL ANN DUFFY Anna Akhmatova is one of the most accomplished and well loved poets Russia has ever produced. Her moving and passionate writing has won her an ardent readership all over the world. This selection, beautifully translated by poet and novelist D.M. Thomas, illustrates her broad scope and brilliant imaginative gifts. It covers both her earlier work and the poems she produced during her persecution by the Russian authorities. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099540878

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