Anna Akhmatova

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Anna Akhmatova (Russian and Ukrainian: А́нна Ахма́това; June 23 [O.S. June 11] 1889 – March 5, 1966) was the pen name of the modernist poet Anna Andreyevna Gorenko (Russian: А́нна Андре́евна Горе́нко; Ukrainian: А́нна Андрі́ївна Горе́нко), one of the most acclaimed female writers in the Russian canon. [1]

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.[1] 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 reduced literary output.[1] Her work was condemned and censored by Stalinist authorities and she is notable for choosing not to emigrate, and remaining in Russia, acting as witness to the atrocities around her. Her perennial themes include meditations on time and memory, and the difficulties of living and writing in the shadow of Stalinism.

Primary sources of information about Akhmatova's life are relatively scant, as war, revolution and the totalitarian regime caused much of the written record to be destroyed. For long periods she was in official disfavour and many of those who were close to her died in the aftermath of the revolution. [2]

Contents

Early life and family

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