The greatest, most comprehensive, and best translated edition of one of the twentieth century’s greatest and most relevant poets.
From the artistic passion of the St Petersburg poets and bohemians, to the collective suffering of a nation, Anna Akhmatova spoke to, and for, the soul of her people. This magnificent edition includes: more than 800 poems, half of them available in no other translated edition: translator’s preface: biographical introduction by Roberta Reeder: more than 125 photographs, including a 65 page photo biography, and ‘The Artist’s Muse’ images of Akhmatova in art: memoir by Isaiah Berlin: comprehensive notes to the poems: index of first lines: bibliography.
“We needn’t worry again about how to read Akhmatova in translation… the translations are remarkable. Reading this enormous, impeccable book, we watch her work achieve the supreme goal of lyric poetry: to transfigure loss without belittling it, commemorate love without cooling it, and embody the truth of disparate lives in a single self.”
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“Hemschemeyer’s versions are the best I have ever seen. This great lilac brick of a book is a stupendous bargain.”
“This edition is an enormous achievement … usefully annotated and well illustrated. The text is the definitive English-language edition of Akhmatova … a ground-breaking work.”
“A fitting tribute to one of the greatest poets of the century… this is a volume to be treasured.”
the Good Book Guide
“This is one of the most important publications of the year, if not the decade.”
Through much of the twentieth century, Anna Akhmatova’s poetry gave voice to the deepest yearnings and struggles of the Russian people. Born in 1889, she survived these upheavals, refusing to abandon either Russia or her craft despite vicious attacks on her name and censorship of her work. When committing poems to paper threatened to cause her arrest, a few close friends faithfully memorised her lines. By the time she died in 1966, Anna Akhmatova was recognized as one of the world’s great poets.