Ancient history

Anna Akhmatova

Of Russian origin, Anna Akhmatova, pseudonym of Anna Andreïevna Gorenko, studied law in kyiv alongside Nicolaï Goumilev, a supporter of acmeism and her future husband. After her studies, she traveled to Paris where she met the painters in vogue at the time. Her first writings first appeared in magazines:she notably published love poems, which gave her the pejorative status of "poetess for women". It will also address the emigrants of the Red Terror.

Wild honey exhales freedom,
Dust – a ray of sunshine,
A maiden's mouth – violet,
And gold – nothing at all. [1]

Anna Akhmatova marks the beginning of the twentieth century by being the most represented woman:she quickly becomes the symbol of the silver age of Russian poetry. At the start of the war, her glory was at the top… before becoming for her audience a “petite bourgeoise thinking about her personal problems”.

In 1925, because she refused to sign a letter of allegiance to the party, Akhmatova was ostracized from the Union of Writers. In 1932, it was the beginning of the Union of Soviet Writers, whose first congress took place two years later. The same year, Akhmatova resumed writing despite Stalin's Terror. But this does not hinder her productions, motivated by the repression the poetess faces. The following year, her husband was shot. He becomes the figure of the sacrificed poet. This is the first time the Bolsheviks have killed a poet. Akhmatova will write:“They took you away at dawn…”

The reseda breathes water,
And love – the apple.
But we have learned forever
That blood only exhales blood. [2]

With her son imprisoned, she will spend five years waiting in prison lines to visit him. Among Soviet writers, she will write patriotic verses, as well as on socialist realism, transmitted on the radio. She will soon be expelled from the Union of Soviet Writers for writings that did not please party members:she is accused of being only interested in sex and religion. She will go back to the odes to Stalin to get her son out of prison, imprisoned in 1949.

It will not be reinstated until 1962, and its verses subject to censorship.

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