Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Anna of all the Russias

Anna Akhmatova was born Anna Gorenko near Odessa, Ukraine, in 1889. She took, as her pen name, the name of her Tatar great-grandmother, since her father didn't want her to disgrace the family name by becoming a "decadent poetess". He would never believe that these days she is a shining star rather than a disgrace, but so she is. Here is a sampling of her poetic style, this one showing an almost Emily Dickinson-like flair:

Wild honey has the scent of freedom,
dust--of a ray of sun,
a girl's mouth--of a violet,
and gold--has no perfume.

Watery--the mignonette,
and like an apple--love,
but we have found out forever
that blood smells only of blood.

1933 --Translated by Jane Kenyon
Twenty Poems of Anna Akhmatova
Originally published (in the Russian) in the book Reed, 1924

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by ~ I always enjoy hearing your comments so please feel free to leave some!