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List of IllustrationsTranslator s AcknowledgementsPublisher s AcknowledgementsTranslator s Preface, by Judith HemschemeyerMirrors and Masks The Life and Poetic Works of Anna Akhmatova, by Roberta ReederAnna Akhmatova A Memoir, by Isaiah BerlinChronologyThird Printing Revised New Poems and RevisionsSecond Edition New Poems and RevisionsNotes on the Text Portfolio Tsarskoye Selo Evening 1912 ADDITIONS I pray to the sunbeam from the window Two Poems 1 Both sides of the pillow 2 That same voice, that same gaze Reading Hamlet 1 Dust rose from the vacant lot 2 And as if by mistake And when we had cursed each other First Return I wept and repented At the new moon he abandoned me Moorka, don t go Portfolio Petersburg Rosary 1914 ADDITIONS I led my lover out to the hall Can you forgive me these November days I m not asking for your love The palms of your hands are burning You will live without misfortune White Flock 1917 ADDITIONS And it seems a human voice When, in the gloomiest of capitals How steep and resounding these bridges are Why then did I used to hold you in my arms I was born neither too early nor too late I don t need much happiness The city disappeared Oh, there are unique words I dream of him less often now, thank God Not mystery and not grief We will be together, darling, together The dark road twisted How I love, how I loved to look Plantain 1921 ADDITION To Zara Anno Domini MCMXXI 1922 Portfolio Photo Biography Reed 1924 1940 Seventh Book 1936 1964 Odd Number Epic and Dramatic Fragments and Long Poems From a Primeval PoemEpic Motifs I At that time I was a guest upon the earth II Having forsaken my homeland s sacred groves III Night came on and in the dark blue sky Fragment from The Russian Trianon In Smolensk CemeteryNorthern Elegies 1 Prehistory 2 So here it is that autumn landscape 3 I, like a river 4 There are three ages to memories 5 About the 1910 s 6 It was dreadful to live in that house 7 And I have been silent, silent for thirty years Lyrical Digression on the Seventh Elegy At the Edge of the Sea The Way of All the Earthfrom Prologue Certainly no one in the world I was the one forbidden book Though you are three timesbeautiful than angels And you know, I agree to everything Because I shared the primal darkness with you However many tortures the other invented for me This paradise, in which we did not sin You frighten with caresses Do not take yourself by the hand Release me if just for a minute The world never perceived such poverty We tasted the forbidden knowledge POEM WITHOUT A HERO A Triptych 1940 1962 Additions Stanzas not included in the text of Poem Without a Hero , and poems relating to its composition Portfolio The Artist s Muse Uncollected Poems and Fragments 1904 1917 I plucked lilies, lovely and fragrant I walked with you over the black abyss Oh, hush these strange, thrilling words I know how to love Spring Air Imperiously Courageous On his hands are lots of shining rings My night feverish ravings about you From the First Notebook Either I stayed with you Your crazy eyes They came and said Your brother died For you, Aphrodite, I ll compose a dance In my room lives a beautiful On the little table, tea, rich pastries I am fatal for those who are tender and young For a long time I stood at Hell s heavy gates Solitude In the Forest The Old Portrait The old oak rustles about the past You are with me again In the corner an old man resembling a ram When we die it won t become darker You ve spent the whole day at the window As if with a huge, heavy hammer Come and take a look at me To F.K Sologub The corolla s needles catch fire We will still add to this In your fine hand you are writing Lise The Reply I won t say anything, I won t open the door Latest Letter I saw the field after the hail And the fever at evening Beyond the hazy pattern of the windowpanes I m not embarrassed by offensive remarks And through everything and every moment He smiled, standing on the threshold Like someone who has left by the western gate From Old Verses How long the New Year s holiday Empty white Yuletide To Tamara Platonovna Karsavina Some great misfortune happened to me here Nowhere did I find my beloved From you came uneasiness You, the leader, standing by the spring it is the one who gave me the zither The bare, bleak days pass peacefully Last Will and Testament The evening bell on the monastery wall Flowers, cold from the dew He did not kill, did not curse White Night It s time to buy land They are bearing someone s yellow coffin out Because sin is what I glorified In the interval between thunderstorms I don t like flowers And in the Kievian church of Divine Wisdom On the right, the Dneiper Fragment With the first sound falling from the piano If the moon does not wander through the sky Marvelous destiny named us You can t make a soul mortal You won t divine it immediately In the city of the gatekeeper of paradise In this church I heard the Canon On the drawbridge 1919 1941 I am bitter and old The tomtits sing well Good fortune flew away from me Isn t it strange that we knew him A light beer has been brewed That evening should be put to death Hello, Piter It s bad, old boy The devil didn t betray me How boring to have to defend It has been seven years I will not profane my lips with your name Here the most beautiful girls fight It would be so easy to abandon this life And you will forgive me everything Forgive me, that I manage badly To the Caucasus And I will wander here at night Ah where are those islands Why did you poison the water A Little Geography Speaking frankly And I am not at all a prophet Imitation from the ArmenianI know I can t move from this place To the New Year To new bitterness To the Memory of M.B I put my curly haired son to bed Stanzas Belated Reply And here, in defiance of the fact The neighbor, out of pity And all those whom my heart won t forget What I am doing, everyone is capable of doing Such a thunderstorm 1941 May 1945 To live as if in freedom Leningrad Quatrains 1 The enemy banner 2 Dig, my shovel 3 Even though the signal fire is not burning And of everything earthly there remained This is how I am It s amusing for you, under the floorboards If you are death Typhus My eyes don t move from the horizon Leningrad blue eyes We will go to Samarkand to die When out of habit I say And the double in the mirror conceals Inscription on the Poem Triptych Postscript to The Leningrad Cycle Another Postscript to the Leningrad Cycle Death De profundis My generation tasted little honey You, Asia motherland of motherlands Palmyra Can it be I m no longer the one Our feelings then were so much alike For the lily of the valley month of May Our boys, they defended us Lamentation If, when I flew, overtaking the sun Because of the strange lyrics Additions to the Cycle Victory There s a silhouette of Faust in the distance There s something wrong with me again The one people once called September 1945 1956 I wouldn t have known how the quince tree blossoms Let a wave of music crash And the sly crescent moon At great expense and unexpectedly I bid farewell to everyone With the rabble in a ditch Lullaby The Glass Doorbell Everyone left and no one returned Shards I don t have special claims Festive Song Ah, for you Russian is not enough Regarding myself as a mere echo From the Cycle Secrets of the Craft From the Cycle Burnt Notebook Others go off with their loved ones Prologue Even that voice will not deceive me I am drawn to the roads around Moscow 1957 1966 They will forget How astonishing In vain you fling at my feet August It s no wonder that sometimes my unruly verse At least today give me a call Chopin s Polonaise is passing onceAway from me, as from that countess All the unburied ones I buried them To bequeath to some wild violin And you will be one of those old women And everyone followed me, my readers Inscription on a Book Don t disturb my life This is neither old nor new Speed But I didn t give you the ring I threw thousands of bell towers It s not that I am searching for you I was captivated by mistake Ravings Four Seasons of the Year For a long time I haven t believed in telephones Creation March Elegies The Heiress You are to live, but I, not very much longer And it is impossible to take from them And the mad face of black music What is separation to us A jaunty game These praises for me are not due to rank From the Sketches Somebody s voice can be heard by the porch What Only ten years, you re joking, my Lord You were the first to yield And she could have done this Like someone mute and blind and deaf To the Memory of Anta Nojoking And he lures me with youth, and promises fame The Pines And the flock of pansies Under the cherished maple No, we didn t suffer together in vain Sickness has kept me languishing Listening to Singing Prayerful days in the hospital You were right not to take me along You won t have to answer for me Imitation of the Korean Almost into the Album The Publication of a Book And the northern news More about This Summer What do we have in common Perhaps afterwards you hated me Everyone, even the uninvited How forgetful life is, and death Sonnet Midnight Verses An unforeseen evil befell And it was so good this summer From the burial mound s deadly vault Abused, praised The Fifth Rose You in fact, are somebody s husband Everything in Moscow is steeped in verses Leave me alone with music I m playing the very game and to die in haughty consciousness Forbidden Rose Grand Confession I m walking again in the thickets of night The North Romance Christmastime December 24 From the Diary of a Traveller From the Italian Diary But who would have thought that Sixty Four The violent wine of lechery To Music And as music began to sound We learned not to meet any I am going where nothing is needed Only life is forgetful The aria Zibelia is still suffering there Who sent him here It s not being with you that comforts me Torment proved to be my muse And your dome was not touched with the gold And the harsh sounds became damp Off in the distance hung some sort of bridge So we lowered our eyes And you will love me all your life Fragment Let the Australian sit down, invisible Sonnet And my sonnet arises Ice is growing on the windowpanes I am still at home today Little Song Strain both your voice and hearing I lift the receiver I say my name She replaced the receiver And I go about my own house No, not chess, not tennis It is terrifying to be praised by you And a strange companion was sent to me by hell I don t know what was guiding me There s no way for me to take flight You loved me and pitied me Stop it, I was like all of them And I have no claims Sooner than anything, love turns to mortal ashes that rhymes with blood To the Defenders of Stalin They swore by the Hammer and Sickle Not to a secret pavilion In sorrows, in passions Oh, how your grandfathers loved me The poet is not a person Don t lie to me, don t lie to me Soon I will leave you What is lurking in the mirror Grief You cranks, you could have chosen By turning endings into beginnings Not in vain did I bear Waiting for him gives mepleasure The hostess is rosy cheeked To Music Luring with the Pied Piper s flute Speechlessness became my home Music Stravinsky s Jeremiah And in the depths of music Don t give me anything to remember you by Pray, at night, that you won t But there is no powerformidable Necessity herself has finally submitted Notes to PoemsNotes to Mirrors and Masks Appendix In Praise of Peace Index to Poems By SourceIndex of Titles First LinesIndex of Proper NamesSelect BibliographyBiographical Notes A great starting place if you ve never read Anna Akhmatova would be Poems of Akhmatova, Selected, Translated and Introduced by Stanley Kunitz with Max Hayward It s career spanning but at only 173 pages, including presenting the poems in Russian with facing page English translations, it will convince you of her genius and invest you with an interest for a deeper engagement with her work and life Then when you are ready, The Complete Poems of Anna Akhmatova awaits Published in an expanded edition in 1997, this is a monumental volume, 946 pages, including poems, preface and introduction, chronology, notes, photographs, bibliography and index I read it poorly, over a number of years in fits and starts but it moved and impressed with every fit and start The Complete Poems, while no place to start, is essential to any library of 20th century poetry and a tremendous anthology for its comprehensiveness and organization And it s not just that there are so manygreat poems than are fitted into the forty poem selected or that the great long poems Requiem and Poem Without a Hero are here in their entirety, along with several other excellent longer poems, but that even among the abandoned fragments and miscellaneous poems there are verses, lines, images that stop you in your readerly tracks I didn t know that the moon was in on everything Or Darkness will be light and sin lovely Or The most reliable thing on earth is sorrow Or How short became the road That seemed the longest And I m walking again in the thickets of night, There the vagabond nightingale sings, Sweeter than honey, sweeter than wild strawberries Even sweeter than my jealousy Akhmatova had a difficult life, coming of age and launching her career as the Revolution brought a betrayed freedom that claimed lives in civil war and long decades of hideous repression Stalin took her livelihood, killed her ex husband, imprisoned her son, numerous friends, and a lover or two She remained dedicated to her art and to her homeland and wrote brilliantly, passionately, and tragically about it in the poems that fill this great collection I believe I will read each of the whole collections published in her lifetime and gathered here Evening, Rosary, White Flock, Plantain, Anno Domini MCMXXI, Reed, and Seventh Book over the next seven weekends And then sometime down the summer road will read Poem Without a Hero again So I will keep this collection in reach. So much of translated poetry depends on the translator Translating Akhmatova from Russian must be near impossible the Russian language is structured so that,or less, most words can rhyme with all the others by modifying the word endings you can hear her tendancy for rhymed couplets if you ever listen to some of her poetry being read around in the original Russian I partially chose Hemschemeyer because I wanted to read all of Akhmatova s poems But the other part is because she chooses to use traditional poetic forms, though typically the lines do not rhyme in couplet form too often There is a solemnity and a mystery to Hemschemeyer s translations, which are sparce and small and not too overdone, though I find her translation of The Grey eyed King to be a little flat, compared to some of the ones I ve read online To talk about Akmhatova herself what do you say about the Russian poet who changed the face of Russian poetry It s so hard to know how to describe her poems when I can t read them in Russian yet But even in English, her poems have a beauty and a lyricism, striking me with images both beautiful and terrible, that startle me and provoke me She s my favorite poet, because she s subtle, and soft, painting a picture of a Russia that has vanished, while speaking of the universality of the human condition. Stunning, personally raw poetry from a pioneer of the acme school of Russian poetry Was introduced to her when an 86 yo Russian emigre handed me a small worn copy of a volume of her works, in both English and Russian after we had begun an impromptu conversation about poetry Put it in my hands, cupped his hands over mine and said keep this, learn about her I have noneed of it. [ E-pub ] ☪ The Complete Poems of Anna Akhmatova ♭ Initially Published In , When The New York Times Book Review Named It One Of Fourteen Best Books Of The Year, Judith Hemschemeyer S Translation Of The Complete Poems Of Anna Akhmatova Is The Definitive Edition, And Has Sold Over , Copies, Making It One Of The Most Successful Poetry Titles Of Recent YearsThis Reissued And Revised Printing Features A New Biographical Essay As Well As Expanded Notes To The Poems, Both By Roberta Reeder, Project Editor And Author Of Anna Akhmatova Poet And Prophet St Martin S Press,Encyclopedic In Scope, With ThanPoems,Photographs, A Historical Chronology, Index Of First Lines, And A Bibliography The Complete Poems Will Be The Definitive English Language Collection Of Akhmatova For Many Years To Come I love her poems and I have her book with me since high school One of the few books that I took with me when I moved overseas.There is a site with awesome translations to Enlish me realize that my own translations of poems loose poetic sense and become pure translations Don t have anything terribly profound to say about Akhmatova Overall, the collection here merits three stars I find that I prefer her earlier stuff, pre Revolution and from the early 20s before Stalin solidified his control , but there are some very affecting stuff from the period when her son was in a gulag I m thinking here, though I can t remember the specific poem, of the image of the women waiting in line to hear news of their husbands, lovers, sons, etcSome of thememorable verses for me Now, like a little snake it curls into a ball,Bewitching your heart,Then for days it will coo like a doveOn the little white windowsill.Or it will flash as bright frost,Drowse like a gillyflowerBut surely and stealthily it will lead you awayFrom joy and from tranquility.It knows how to sob so sweetlyIn the prayer of a yearning violin,And how fearful to divine itIn a still unfamiliar smile. p 81 There is a sacred boundary between those who are close,And it cannot be crossed by passion or love Though lips fuse in dreadful silenceAnd the heart shatters to pieces with love.Friendship is helpless here, and yearsOf exalted and ardent happiness,When the soul is free and a strangerTo the slow languor of voluptuousness.Those who strive to reach it are mad, and thoseWho reach it stricken by griefNow you understand why my heartDoes not beat faster under your hand. p 181 Damned if I will Neither by glance nor by groanWill I touch your cursed soul,But I vow to you by the garden of angels,By the miraculous icon I vowAnd by the fiery passion of our nights I will never return to you. p 285 That was when the ones who smiledWere the dead, glad to be at rest. p 386 A sky white with a frightful whiteness,And the earth like coal and granite.Under this withered moonNothing shines any.A woman s voice, hoarse and impassioned,Doesn t sing, but yells, yells.On the black poplar right above meNot a single leaf rustles.Was this why I kissed you Was this why I tormented myself, loving To remember you now, calmly and wearily,With loathingp 643 O God, for myself I could forgive everything,But I would rather be a hawk clawing a lamb,Or a serpent biting someone sleeping in the field,Than be a human and be forced to seeWhat people do, and from putrid shame,Not dare to raise my eyes to the heavens on high. p 647 It s a long collection There s a lot of poems But you re not in a Soviet gulag or under the surveillance of the KGB So stop complaining Relax You ll get through it And it s worth it Can you write about this Yes, I can Anna Akhmatova Her poetry is breathtaking. Since I was required to read one of Akmatova s works in my World Literature course I found myself enthralled with her poetry After finding myself searching through book stores for different translations, I fell in love with Judith Hemschemeyer s most recent translation of her work Within Akhmatova s poetry, throughout each and every one of the translations, I see a woman full of emotions and tragedy Her poems speak volumes as we see the inner workings of her mind while dealing with loss and adaptation to her circumstances Much of her works seems to focuson emotion then imagery, metaphor or symbolism rather then sensory Hemschemeyer s translation, I feel, brought out the true poetry in her words as Hemschemeyer not only translated it and oriented it to her era, but also created work that flowed, almost magically, from sentence to sentence, poem to poem My soul focus right now is poetry and since reading Akhmatova s works I find myself striving to create the emotional appeal which she was able to create for me.