Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Anna Akhmatova and the Poetry of Resilience

She was born to an upper class family in what is now the Ukraine in 1889. Her father called her poetry decadent, but more as a commentary on poetry than his daughter. She married and had a son; he was raised by her in-laws with her husband’s agreement. She and husband divorced, although that didn’t help her when he was arrested and executed by the Soviets in 1921.

She would marry twice more; her third husband would die in a Siberian labor camp in 1953. Her son was imprisoned from 1949 to 1956. She would see her poetry published and then banned, published and then publication halted. For a long time, she could not publish poetry, and turned to essays and other non-fiction.

Through enough tribulation to last several lifetimes, Anna Akhmatova continued to write poetry. She is now considered one of the icons of the Silver Age in Russian literature (roughly 1880 to 1920), associated with poets and writers like Alexander Blok and Boris Pasternak. In her own lifetime, she became a symbol of hope and survival to millions of Russians.

To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.

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