“Translations of the ‘two greatest achievements’ of Akhmatova’s maturity.… A decided addition to any library.”
With this edition of Requiem and Poem without a Hero, Swallow Press presents two of Anna Akhmatova’s best-known works, ones that represent the poet at full maturity, and that most trenchantly process the trauma she and others experienced living under Stalin’s regime.
Akhmatova began the three-decade process of writing Requiem in 1935 after the arrests of her son, Lev Gumilev, and her third husband. The autobiographical fifteen-poem cycle primarily chronicles a mother’s wait-lining up outside Leningrad Prison every day for seventeen months-for news of her son’s fate. But from this limbo, Akhmatova expresses and elevates the collective grief for all the thousands vanished under the regime, and for those left behind to speculate about their loved ones’ fates. Poem without a Hero was similarly written over a long period. It takes as its focus the transformation of Akhmatova’s beloved city of St. Petersburg-historically a seat of art and culture-into Leningrad. Taken together, these works plumb the foremost themes for which Akhmatova is known and revered. When Ohio University Press published D. M. Thomas’s translations in 1976, it was the first time they had appeared in English. Under Thomas’s stewardship, Akhmatova’s words ring clear as a bell.
Anna Akhmatova (1889–1966) is an iconic figure of twentieth-century Russian literature and one of her era’s great poets. Her work has been translated into many languages. More info →
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Anna Akhmatova (1889–1966) was part of that magnificent and tragic generation of Russian artists which came to first maturity before 1917, and which then had to come to terms with official discouragement and often persecution. You Will Hear Thunder brings together for the first time all D.M. Thomas’s translations of her poems.
Since the appearance in print of her early poems over seventy-five years ago, the poetry of Janet Lewis has grown in quiet acclaim and popularity. Although she is better known as a novelist of historical fiction, her first and last writings were poems. With the publication of her selected poems, Swallow Press celebrates the distinguished career of one of its most cherished authors.Critics
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