Anna Akhmatova's Poetry: "The Soul of Her Time" (02:16)
James Macandrew explains that Anna Akhmatova's poetry is difficult to translate into English because of its heavy use of Russian folklore and terminology. Today's panel includes Irene Kirk, Samuel Driver, Irene Moore, and Faubion Bowers.
Born Anna Andreyevna Gorenko (02:52)
Akhmatova's family moved to Tsarskoye Selo when she was a child, and she felt Pushkin's influence everywhere. Listen to an excerpt of one of her poems in both English and Russian. Akhmatova joined the Acmeist movement or a school for anti-symbolism.
Becoming Famous (03:29)
Listen to Driver and Moore recite "The Song of the Last Meeting" in English and Russian. Akhmatova became famous after that poem was published. Gumilev and Akhmatova befriended Amedeo Modigliani in Paris, but they returned to Russia.
Friend of the Dog (02:55)
Listen to a description of Akhmatova written by Georgy Ivanov. Boris Pronin ran the cafe "Roving Dog," a meeting place for writers and poets.
Akhmatova Themes (02:22)
Driver explains Akhmatova's early poems focused on love within a timeless Russian backdrop. As war ravaged the country, she explored history as a theme. In "Poem without a Hero," Akhmatova discusses time.
Translating Akhmatova (02:20)
Bowers describes how deceptively simple Akhmatova's poetry is. Compare English and Russian versions of a poem from "Requiem"— Experts discuss differences in grammar and subtexts within different translations. No historian knows how Akhmatova survived the Bolshevik Revolution.
Gumilev Shot (06:29)
Akhmatova goes into seclusion, not publishing another book of poetry until 1958 in her own country. Akhmatova's son spent half his life in prison because of his father. Moore performs the introduction to the "Requiem," "The Introduction," "The Crucifixion," and "The Epilogue" while Bowers translates.
Why Complain? (04:49)
Akhmatova traveled to Italy and Oxford to receive awards but remained in Russia because it was her home. Kirk recalls Akhmatova asking for information on Driver's dissertation.
Critics: Anna Akhmatova: Perspectives (00:34)
Critics: Anna Akhmatova: Perspectives
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