“D.M. Thomas is a poet in his own right, and … a sensitive translator of [Akhmatova]. Thomas refers to the ‘rich mysterious fluid life’ that her poetry has.… From his strong yet cautious rhythms, his solid musical phrasing, one [can] intuit the dark elegance of the original.”
“These are among the best, the most authoritative, of … translations from the Russian, and are from one of the most powerful of the twentieth century Russian poets.”
Anna Akhmatova lived through pre-revolution Russia, Bolshevism, and Stalinism. Throughout it all, she maintained an elegant, muscular style that could grab a reader by the throat at a moment’s notice. Defined by tragedy and beauty in equal measure, her poems take on romantic frustration and the pull of the sensory, and find power in the mundane. Above all, she believed that a Russian poet could only produce poetry in Russia.
You Will Hear Thunder spans Akhmatova’s very early career into the early 1960s. These poems were written through her bohemian prerevolution days, her many marriages, the terror and privation of life under Stalin, and her later years, during which she saw her work once again recognized by the Soviet state. Intricately observed and unwavering in their emotional immediacy, these strikingly modern poems represent one of the twentieth century’s most powerful voices.
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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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.
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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.