Anna Akhmatova : a poetic pilgrimage

by Amanda Haight

Hardcover, 1976




New York and London: Oxford University Press, 1976.


This striking biography, the first ever written about the great Russian poet, Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966), illuminates Akhmatova's dramatic personal and professional struggles. From the isolation of the twenty-five years she was banned from publishing her work, and the sorrow of her tragic losses--her first husband executed by Stalin, her second dead in the work camps, and her son imprisoned for fourteen years--to her final years of triumph receiving public acclaim as the country's foremost woman poet, this compelling, authoritative account traces the relationship between her writings and her life. Haight provides elegant translations and detailed analyses of Akhmatova's finest works, including "Requiem" and "Poem without a Hero," revealing the brilliance of this now highly praised poet.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member ijustgetbored
Amanda Haight produced an marvelous, analytical, informative biography of the Russian poet (not "poetess!") Anna Akhmatova. This woman's life was certainly fascinating in its own right, and Haight makes it all the more interesting because of her clear presentation, good organization, and obvious
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connection with her subject. The poet's life is covered from her birth to her death in the 1960s; in her long life, she saw the revolution, suffered great personal tragedy (often the product of the Stalinist regime), but kept writing through it all. This biography would be interesting to a person who had no prior knowledge of Akhmatova or a person who is familiar with her poetry and wants to know more about the writer. I have always found that Akhmatova and Wordsworth are the two poets I have the most trouble separating from the speakers of their poetry, and this biography is thus a very interesting companion to Akhmatova's work. Haight's writing and research are difficult to find fault with. I also recommend THE COMPLETE POEMS OF ANNA AKHMATOVA, edited by Roberta Reeder.
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