(1889 – 1966)
After the family disbanded in 1905, the mother and children moved to Evpatoria, from there to Kiev. There, Akhmatova graduated from high school and in 1907 entered the law faculty of the Higher Women’s Courses in Kiev. In 1910 she married S. Gumilev. Together with him was in 1910 and 1911 in Paris, in 1912 – in Italy. In 1912, the only son was born – L. N. Gumilev, a famous historian and ethnographer.
According to Akhmatova’s recollections, she wrote the first poems at the age of 11, but they did not survive. The first poem was published in 1907 in the Parisian magazine Sirius, published by N. S. Gumilev, but then there was a break until 1911.
Then Akhmatova begins to publish regularly in the St. Petersburg and Moscow editions. In March 1912, the first collection of poems entitled “Evening” was published. Here, features that for many years have determined her creative reputation begin to appear: the intensity of the love feeling, the combination of the external timing with the heroine’s experiences, and the orientation toward modern spoken language.
“Evening” was a significant success, but the real fame came to the poet after the publication of the collection of poems “The Rosary” (1914). Despite the unfavorable situation (after a few months the war began), “Rosary” became very popular.
Akhmatova’s early poetry clearly discerns both repulsion from many features of creativity, worked out by symbolism, and the continuation of those traditions that made symbolism the most notable poetical movement of the early 20th century. Akhmatova’s verses avoid exoticism and romantic “universality” in the description will take reality, replacing them with the utmost concreteness of descriptions closely related to everyday life. One can feel the connection of Akhmatova’s poetry with the poetic principles of the greatest poets of Russian symbolism, especially Blok, which was emphasized by the poetess in a donation inscription in the collection “The Rosary” brought to Blok: The
anxiety came to me And the ability to write poetry.
Belonging to the number of Acmeist poets, and developing many principles of acmeism in their poems, Akhmatova at the same time is burdened by the discipline that reigns in their ranks.
But at the same time, the internal principles of Akhmatova’s
poetry tend more and more to the gravity inherent in acmeism to realize the opportunities in the word to expand the historical and cultural wealth.
The third collection of poems by Akhmatova “White Flock” (1917) is distinguished by the expansion of the thematic repertoire of the poetess. In this book, a notable place was occupied by topics that concerned not only personal experiences, but also in the closest possible way connected with the events of the war and the approaching revolution. In poems, a decisive change in the poetic manner of Akhmatova occurs, the intonations of a lively conversation are replaced by the odic, prophetic, intonations that lead to a change in the verse plan. At the same time, the poetry of the time of the “White Flock” is becoming more and more saturated with quotations from Pushkin’s lyrics. This allows us to single out in the work of Akhmatova a special “Pushkin layer”, which eventually becomes more and more saturated.
In the poetry of Akhmatova we find responses to the events of our time, especially political ones. A special place among these responses is occupied by poems written shortly after the October Revolution. In the poem “When in the Sadness of Suicide…” (1917), which in the late edition begins with the line “I heard a voice, he called comfort…”, openly speaks of the rejection of poetically revolutionary events, but at the same time – the inability to leave Homeland, be away from her in the days of testing.
In 1918-1923 Akhmatova’s poetry was a great success, her poems were republished many times, but in the mid-1920s a long silence began, lasting until the mid-1930s.
The poems written by Akhmatova between 1917 and 1941 clearly show that it was not immediately, suddenly her lyrical muse became accustomed to the new reality,
began to sound in unison with the feelings that the people lived in the turbulent first quarter of the century after their October epoch.
Lyrical Akhmatova completely belongs to her era, absorbed it into herself. Time generously endowed her with happiness and grief, enthusiastic attention of admirers of her talent and unfairly severe accusations of hostility to her muse to the people, the joy of friendship and a sense of woeful loneliness.
In 1935, Akhmatova’s son Leo Nikolayevich Gumilev was arrested. Anna Andreevna spent seventeen months in prison queues (his son was arrested three times – in 1935, 1938 and 1949) Together with all the people, the poet experienced a tragedy of Stalin’s repression. And when one of the women standing next to her asked in a whisper: “And this you can describe? “, Akhmatova replied:” I can. “
Thus poems were born, which together formed the “Requiem”. The poem is both the lyric diary of the eyewitness of the epoch, and the product of a striking artistic power, bottomless in its depth. The cycle “Requiem” does not exist in poetry poetry in isolation. The world of Akhmatova’s poetry is a world of tragedy. The motives of disaster, tragedies in early poetry are embodied as personal motives. (“Lullaby” (1915), “Slander” (1922), “I should have been ill with a burning delirium” (1922), “If the lunar horror splashes.” (1928), etc.).
In the light of the following events in the life of the country and in the life of Akhmatova, many motifs of the poems listed look like a premonition and a prediction. Since the 30s, Akhmatova’s tragedy themes have become universally significant. Variations in the “Requiem” themes have been found in her poetry since the late 1930s. Two decades after the completion of the work the poem was preceded by an epigraph in which Akhmatova’s position in life and in poetry received a strict and laconic description:
No, and not under an alien firmament,
And not protected by alien wings. –
I was then with my people
There, where my people, unfortunately, were.
The double-repeated word alien is twice crossed out by the words of my people: the strength of the fusion of the destinies of the people and of its poet is checked by the common misfortune for them.
The details of what is happening are reproduced with the usual authenticity for Akhmatova. The truth of life in verse is nowhere broken in either the big or the small. In the poem, a cry of pain erupts, but preference is given to the word, spoken in a low, whispered voice – as they said in that terrible line. “Requiem” sounds like a final accusation in the case of terrible atrocities. But the poet is not accusing him, but time. That is why it is so majestic, – outwardly calmly, restrainedly – the final lines of the poem sound where the flow of time brings to the monument all the innocent victims, but also the one whose life has been sadly reflected in their lives: “And the dove pigeon let him walk away, And quietly go on the river ships. ”
It was not easy for Akhmatova to love her Motherland:
it was on her native land she had to experience incomparable torments. One can only be amazed that the persecuted, slandered streams of calumny, the terror of defenselessness before the grief that struck her, Akhmatova did not throw a single reproach to the Motherland.
The most important frontier on Akhmatova’s creative path was 1941 – the beginning of the Great Patriotic War.
The war caught Akhmatova in Leningrad, which by the autumn had become a front-line town, and the poet, like all Leningraders, carried through the 900-day blockade unprecedented in the history of mankind’s courage and fortitude.
Love of Russia saved the poetess in 1917 from the temptation to go abroad, to emigrate. Love for the native land, love, strengthened by the experience and wisdom of the difficult years, brought the Russian poetess Anna Akhmatova into the circle of Russian Soviet poets.
The closed detachment of the intimate lyrical theme, characteristic of all the stages of Akhmatova’s creative path in the pre-war years, recedes before the hot patriotic, social excitement, gives way to the noble. humanism, shaken by the fate of the homeland, the fate of their fellow citizens, their suffering and pain (“Oath”, “Courage”, “Victory”, “Winners”, “The Third Spring I meet in the distance.”, “I was not here for seven hundred years… “,” From an airplane “)
Speaking about Akhmatova’s poems written in wartime, noting and singling out their civil and patriotic pathos, it would be wrong to keep silent that in these same years and months, quite often, as echoes of the past, poems dictated by despair and a keen sense of tragic loneliness.
But that breakthrough into the big world of people’s life, the expression of which was Akhmatova’s patriotic lyrics of 1941-1945, did not pass without a trace in her creative biography.
As a logical continuation of the patriotic lyrics of the war years, verses “Children Say”, “Song of Peace”, “Seaside Victory Park” written in the 1950s were sounded in a different, peaceful time.
Simultaneously with poetry, Akhmatova was engaged in translating world poetic classics, folk poetry, poems of contemporary poets.
Significant works of the last creative period were the “Poem without a Hero”, “Through All the Earth”, the cycle “Northern Elegies”.
As a result of a complex life lived the final lines of the autobiography sound,
“I did not cease to write poetry, for me in them – my connection with time, with the new life of my people.” When I wrote them, I lived the rhythms that sounded in the heroic history of my country. “I’m happy that I lived in those years and I saw events that were not equal. “