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Requiem

Rating: 3.2

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'.
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COMMENTS OF THE POEM
William Lyne 17 August 2019

This poem and all the others have a power that no other poet can even approach. They are the most moving poems that have ever been written. If they don't bring tears to your eyes you are already dead.

6 1 Reply
Kristen Bishop 10 May 2019

Why is there no translator credited?

6 1 Reply
florah madzikatire 09 April 2019

deeply touchy, depicting the afflictions of the common man

1 0 Reply
Sharon Englert 17 March 2019

Very moving, deeply sad

1 0 Reply
Sase Vardhni 19 October 2017

Akhmatova's poetry could be known for the simplest description depicting the complicated concepts :)

2 0 Reply
Resh Kav 22 June 2017

Very good poem to read.

1 0 Reply
Paul From Nova 15 January 2017

...is the translator? It matters.

7 0 Reply
Julia in CA 07 February 2019

I believe it's Judith Hemschemeyer, - Akhmatova, Anna. “Requiem.” Complete Poems of Anna Akhmatova, translated by Judith Hemschemeyer,2nd ed. Zephyr Press,1989,384-394.

0 0 Reply
Julia in CA 07 February 2019

Wait, sorry, disregard that earlier post. It might be Jane Kenyon. I can't get my hands on a copy of her translation but by process of elimination, it looks to be here, and this version was published in a pdf entitled Anna Akhmatova Poems Jane Kenyon. Here's the link: http: //www.24grammata.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/anna_akhmatova_24grammata.com_.pdf

1 0 Reply
Kate Banks 05 October 2020

I have found the same translation on the Plagiarist website with the following citation: First published Sasha Soldatow Mayakovsky in Bondi BlackWattle Press 1993 Sydney. Translated by Sasha Soldatow

0 0 Reply
Kate Banks 05 October 2020

The same translation on the Plagiarist website attributes Sasha Soldatow: First published Sasha Soldatow *Mayakovsky in Bondi* BlackWattle Press 1993 Sydney. Translated by Sasha Soldatow

0 0 Reply
Fabrizio Frosini 15 June 2015

Although it was composed in large part prior to 1940, Akhmatova considered Requiem too dangerous to be written down, much less published, at the time, so until the mid-1960s it remained unpublished, and existed only as individual verses memorized by the poet and a handful of her most trusted confidants.

25 0 Reply
Fabrizio Frosini 15 June 2015

'' Requiem is a cycle of fifteen short poems introduced with a paragraph of prose that, taken as a whole, constitutes an epic of grief and remembrance. Although the work possesses no conventionally defined plot, the ten internal numbered poems form a chronological revelation that documents the suffering of the Russian people during the years of Stalinist terror. Through the eyes of the women—who stood outside prisons for days, hoping for word about their loved ones, hoping to deliver a hat or a pair of salvaged gloves or shoes, hoping for one last glimpse before the inevitable sentence of death or exile for a beloved son or husband—Akhmatova plumbs the depths of unimaginable suffering, and charts the journey of mourning and memorial. The poem opens with a declaration of the pain of one woman, an individual circumstance but recognizable to all who lived through the era. With each successive poem, the central figure experiences a new stage of suffering: mute grief, growing disbelief, rationalization, raw mourning, steely resolve. Sometimes writing in the first person, sometimes in the third person, Akhmatova becomes the voice of the people as she universalizes her personal pain over the repeated imprisonment of her son and the loss of friends and literary peers to execution and exile. Throughout much of the cycle the suffering Russian woman, one yet universal, is the central figure. At the climax of the cycle of grief, however, three figures of Christian religious significance appear: Mary Magdalene, Mary the Mother of Christ, and John, the beloved disciple. Critics hold various opinions about why Akhmatova incorporated these personages who are closely associated with Catholic religious beliefs, and about whom significant people in the poet's life each figure represents. Within the work as a whole, however, these religious figures, placed outside the context of their New Testament roles, reinforce the poet's subtext of the inevitability of suffering. Akhmatova allows the central figure to transcend her personal circumstances in an almost mystical, supernatural way—not to mitigate her pain or allow her a measure of peace, but to dignify and honor the ability of this woman, and all women, to confront their deepest grief and fear and survive. In Requiem, writes Amanda Haight, Akhmatova “has taken suffering to its limit and so there is nothing to fear.” '' [Anna Andreyevna Gorenko]

24 0 Reply
Fabrizio Frosini 14 June 2015

Nikolai Yezhov as head of the NKVD from 1936 instituted a savage purge, akin to the Cultural Revolution in China, involving denunciations and show trials. He was in turn denounced in 1938 by Molotov, executed, and replaced by Beria. People in the Soviet Union came to call the Great Terror: Yezhovshchina (the time of Yezhov) .

28 1 Reply

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