During the siege of Leningrad Anna Andreevna Akhmatova “was on duty as an ordinary air-defense fighter, she sewed sandbags, which shewed trenches – shelters in the garden… A fountain house, under a maple, sung to her in” Poem Without a Hero, “which was written quarter from 1940 to 1965. During these years, the poetess not only gave her friends new lists, calling so authorized typewritten copies, but made changes and amendments to the specimens previously given to close friends.
In the poem there are a lot of literary and cultural reminiscences, a rich imagery series. Reflecting on the tragic events of the twentieth century, the poet gives the first part of his poem “Without a Hero” the subtitle “Petersburg Story”, reminiscent of Pushkin’s poem “The Bronze Horseman.” And here the St. Petersburg theme is solved through hidden and explicit references to AS Pushkin, NV Gogol, FM Dostoyevsky. The city is “Dostoevsky and demoniac”, “mourning” and “sworn”, real and fantastic is represented by the poet on the eve of the universal death, impending catastrophe, when “as before the beating beat the drum.”
AA Akhmatova chooses as the protagonist of the poem – a generalized image of the tragic poet – the hero of the art of the “silver age”, and then of the entire XX century.