My favourite poet
Anna Akhmatova (June 23, 1889 — March 5, 1966) was the pen name of Anna Andreevna Gorenko, the leader and the heart and soul of St Petersburg tradition of Russian poetry in the 19th century.
Akhmatova's work ranges from short lyric poems to universalized, ingeniously structured cycles, such as Requiem (1935-40), her tragic masterpiece on the Stalinist terror. Her work addresses a variety of themes including time and memory, the fate of creative women, and the difficulties of living and writing in the shadow of Stalinism.
Akhmatova was born in Bolshoy Fontan near Odessa. Her childhood was not so happy; her parents divorced in 1905. She was educated in Kiev, Tsarskoe Selo, and the Smolny Institute of St Petersburg. Anna started writing poetry at the age of 11, inspired by her favourite poets: Racine, Pushkin, and Baratynsky. As her father did not want to see any verses printed under his "respectable" name, she had to adopt the surname of one of her Tatar ancestors as a pen name.
I like her poems very much. These are my favourite poems:
Grey-Eyed King (1910)
Hail to thee, o, inconsolate pain!
The young grey-eyed king has been yesterday slain.
That autumnal evening was stuffy and red.
My husband, returning, had quietly said,
"He'd left for his hunting; they carried him home;
They found him under the old oak's dome.
I pity his queen. He, so young, passed away!...During one night her black hair turned to grey."
He picked up his pipe from the fireplace shelf,
And went off to work for the night by himself.
Now my daughter I will wake up and rise --
And I will look in her little grey eyes...
And murmuring poplars outside can be heard:
Your king is no longer here on this earth.
* * * *
I have ceased and desisted from smiling
The frosty wind chills lips - say so long
To one hope of which will be lesser,
Instead there will be one more song.
And this song, without my volition,
I will give out for laughter and parable,
For this that the silence of love
Is to me simply unbearable.Resources: