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Anna Akhmatova

From her appearance in a small magazine in 1906 to her death in 1965, Anna Akhmatova was a dominant presence in Russian literary life. But this friend of Pasternak and Mandelstam was a poet in a country where poetry was literally a matter of life and death, as she found when Mandelstam and her own husband, Gumilyev, were executed, and her son imprisoned for many years in the Gulag. Akhmatova's first collection, Evening, appeared in 1912. Rosary (1914) made her a household name. After the Revolution she went in and out of favour with the authorities, who sometimes allowed her to publish, sometimes banned her work. She is now most celebrated in the West for Poem Without A Hero and Requiem, a sequencemourning the victims of Stalin's Terror which was only published (and then outside Russia) in 1963.
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Collectable, beautifully presented hardback of Anna Akhmatova's greatest poems. Edited by D. M. Thomas. His translations of Akhmatova have been described by John Bayley as 'a masterly achievement'. He has translated 19 additional poems especially for this Everyman edition.

About the Author

The poet Anna Akhmatova was born Anna Gorenko in Odessa, in the Ukraine, in 1889; she later changed her name to Akhmtova. In 1910 she married the important Russian poet and theorist Nikolai Gumilyov. Shortly afterwards Akhmatova began publishing her own poetry; together with Gumilyov, she became a central figure in the Acmeist movement. Acmeism -- which had its parallels in the writings of T. E. Hulme in England and the development of Imagism -- stressed clarity and craft as antidotes to the overly loose style and vague language of late nineteenth century poetry in Russia. The Russian Revolution was to dramatically affect their lives. Although they had recently divorced, Akhmatova was was nevertheless stunned by the execution of her friend and former partner Gumilyev in 1921 by the Bolsheviks, who claimed that he had betrayed the Revolution. In large measure to drive her into silence, their son Lev Gumilyov was imprisoned in 1938, and he remained in prison and prison camps until the death of Stalin and the thaw in the Cold War made his release possible in 1956. Meanwhile, Akhmatova had a second marraige and then a third; her third husband, Nikolai Punin, was imprisoned i

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