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Anna Akhmatova (Everyman's Library Pocket Poets)

4.34  ·  Rating Details ·  185 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
A legend in her own time both for her brilliant poetry and for her resistance to oppression, Anna Akhmatova—denounced by the Soviet regime for her “eroticism, mysticism, and political indifference”—is one of the greatest Russian poets of the twentieth century. Before the revolution, Akhmatova was a wildly popular young poet who lived a bohemian life. She was one of the lea ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published May 16th 2006 by Everyman's Library (first published January 1st 1989)
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Oct 28, 2012 William1 rated it really liked it
D.M. Thomas's translations are surprisingly lyrical. There is the sense, so deftly is the prosody handled, that some of these were written in English. One is filled with awe at times. How can these poems be so mesmerizingly lyrical? It's the earlier poems I prefer to the later serious ones, which tend to be be a slog. I think this volume, which contains the stirring "Requiem," is an excellent place for those curious about Akhmatova's poetry to start. Highly recommended.
May 21, 2016 Artfulreader rated it really liked it
Akhmatova's poetry conjures up beautiful pictures in my head; sepia-tinged and full of feeling. Will read more of her.
Feb 07, 2017 Matthew rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
From Evening...

My breast grew cold and numb,
But my feet were light.
On to my right hand I fumbled
The glove to my left hand.

It seemed that there were many steps
- I knew there were only three.
An autumn whisper between the maples
Kept urging: 'Die with me.

Change has made me weary,
Fate has cheated me of everything.'
I answered: 'My dear, my dear!
I'll die with you. I too am suffering.'

It was a song of the last meeting.
Only bedroom-candles burnt
When I looked into the dark house,
And they were yellow and i
Haunting and cold and devastating. "I was gay, and bold, and wicked/And never knew I was happy" (pg. 51).

It's been over a month since I finished this collection, and what remains most strongly are the moments of intense emotion, captured and preserved in one or two line images: "And street bonfires blazing red/Like roses in snow are flowering" (p. 67). Akhmatova's life was hard, beyond my experience, and I feel it when she cries, "There is a frontier-line in human closeness/That love and passion
Dec 28, 2012 K.m. rated it it was amazing
Speaking as one of a generation of people living under the weight of the fear, violence, loss and want of two world wars and part of a generation of artists and thinkers oppressed, imprisoned, arrested, exiled, censored and executed by their government, Akhmatova's words are weighty. She grieves and remembers and prays in verse. Writing circumspectly (sometimes), to dodge censorship, Akhmatova's personal tragedies speak more broadly. The translator's commentary was helpful, and thankfully separa ...more
Feb 10, 2014 Rebecca rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Some excerpts for your pleasure:
"The mignonette smells of water,
Apple-tang clings to love,
But we were always taught that
Blood smells only of blood."

"Some gaze into tender faces,
Others drink until morning light,
But all night I hold conversations
With my conscience who is always right."

"The pillow hot
On both sides,
The second candle
Dying, the ravens
Crying. Haven't
Slept all night, too late
To dream of sleep...
How unbearably white
The blind on the white window.
Good morning, morning!"

I think I preferred
May 20, 2013 Ariadna73 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literature
So beautiful and sad! The poem I liked the most was that about the women that are waiting in line in front of a prison, wanting to see their husbands, sons, brothers, who are incarcerated for various reasons related to war. The beauty of the images and the sadness of the feelings brought tears to my eyes.


Psst! I have a blog too! Take a look here:
Jun 16, 2016 Faxe rated it really liked it
Ахматова is a mountain oolong - grown in the cold wind whipped heavens stretching for the light of all things french, lovers and occasionally justice. I drank her poems without sugar, but sweetened the bitterness they left in my mouth by reading the epilogue provided. There are countless mirrors and doubles and twins in this collection, but less explanations and practically no comfort. I love the brutality and nightmarish mirrors, but I can't penetrate the icy tar that coats the portraits (mirro ...more
Feb 16, 2014 Jules rated it really liked it
Akhmatova's voice cries out from her poems. In "Requiem" we can feel her pain of waiting, the existential lines, the brutality of Stalin's Russia. Her earlier work is equally elegiac, in "By the Seashore" for instance. There is a mastery and command of voice in this, authenticity, anguish and sadness that cannot seem to be lifted from out the shadow of her work.
Apr 23, 2015 Nancy rated it really liked it
Shelves: 800-poetry
So depressingly beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. I couldn't help but look up the history on her life. So beautiful. I wish I could read it in the original language though, although the translation was beautiful. Did I say it was beautiful?
Feb 19, 2014 Rob rated it it was amazing
Such a great poet. Loved this book very much.
Nov 20, 2011 Aran rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry
....didn't finish. Not my jam. Not sure if it was the translation, but it read... poorly.
Jan 22, 2016 Katy rated it liked it
Shelves: bingo-2016
Lovely translation
Jun 12, 2008 Karen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
pretty and cold
Matt Woodle
Jun 26, 2008 Matt Woodle rated it it was amazing
Akhmatova made me believe in the beauty of poetry. She also made me believe that you could write an entire story, an entire universe even, in about fourteen words or less. She's brilliant!
Alleytia Bennett
Apr 08, 2014 Alleytia Bennett rated it it was amazing
Incredible imagery, insight into Russian history and culture. A fascinating poet with a tumultuous mind.
Nov 29, 2015 poesielos rated it really liked it
Nick Black
May 12, 2011 Nick Black marked it as embarrassed-not-to-have-read
Recommended to Nick by: Jur
Shelves: to-acquire
love Akhmatova in the scattered fragments i've stumbled upon. this will, i think, be my Poetry Volume for the Year 2011.
Oct 06, 2012 Irwan rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished, 2012
This little book of compilation gives a broad sweeping take of Akhmatova's work. I like it. Would love to read more of hers.
Nov 21, 2014 Hala rated it it was amazing
She is out of the world.. Loved it
Dec 25, 2011 Tanya rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry-drama, russian
Jan 31, 2017 Louise rated it really liked it
Hmm somehow this seems like a very relevant read as the political climate of government by gags and misinformation in the Western world keeps getting darker...
Jared Pechacek
Feb 10, 2017 Jared Pechacek rated it it was amazing
Beautiful, bleak, and painful.
Nov 05, 2016 Heather rated it it was amazing
I was enchanted with this selection of Akhmatova's work. I had never heard of her before reading this, and it gave a well-rounded amount of her poetry so that I could get a great feel for her writing. She is now one of my favorites! I loved the tiny size of this book as well, and I'm looking into the other editions of the Everyman's Library Pocket Poets. Really beautiful poems and words by a talented author. I would highly recommend.
Lianne rated it it was amazing
Dec 27, 2016
Ashley Marie
Ashley Marie rated it it was amazing
Apr 27, 2017
Lisa rated it liked it
Jun 16, 2016
Israfel Seraphim
Israfel Seraphim rated it it was amazing
Dec 06, 2015
melmoth rated it really liked it
Feb 25, 2017
Irina Lazarova
Irina Lazarova rated it really liked it
Oct 27, 2013
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Also known as: Анна Ахматова, Anna Ahmatova, Anna Achmatowa

Pen name of Anna Andreyevna Gorenko, a Russian modernist poet, credited as one of the most acclaimed writers in the Russian canon.

Akhmatova's work ranges from short lyric poems to universalized, ingeniously structured cycles, such as Requiem (1935-40), her tragic masterpiece about the Stalinist terror. Her work addresses a variety of theme
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“In those years only the dead smiled, Glad to be at rest: And Leningrad city swayed like A needless appendix to its prisons.” 1 likes
“For this gloomy beast within my breast -
A heart. But the thing is,
We've all had to learn not to sleep for three years.
In the morning we shall find out
Who has died in the night.”
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