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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  • ''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).
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Comments about Anna Akhmatova

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  • Rookie - 66 Points Misha Allport (1/23/2014 11:40:00 AM)

    A restrained elegance enveloped in a Slavic midnight hue.

  • Rookie - 7 Points 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'...!

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

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

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

    i like it very touching

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Best Poem of Anna Akhmatova

Requiem

Not under foreign skies
Nor under foreign wings protected -
I shared all this with my own people
There, where misfortune had abandoned us.
[1961]

INSTEAD OF A PREFACE

During the frightening years of the Yezhov terror, I
spent seventeen months waiting in prison queues in
Leningrad. One day, somehow, someone 'picked me out'.
On that occasion there was a woman standing behind me,
her lips blue with cold, who, of course, had never in
her life heard my name. Jolted out of the torpor
characteristic of all of us, she said into my ear
(everyone whispered...

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