Reviews

Akhmatova: Poems by Anna Akhmatova

shanviolinlove's review against another edition

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Lovely. While some of Akhmatova's poems feel a bit sentimental (i.e. many of the earlier jilted love poems), most resonate with evocative lyricism and breathtaking imagery. Akhmatova takes her time to set the stage, doing a 360 in the interiority she is describing: wind in the firs, owls in the night sky. She frames the conflict of a friend's death or a lovers' tryst with sights and sounds, grounding the reader in a tangible setting. I reread the final stanza of "On the Road" a dozen times.

I'm always impressed by poetry translation that keeps the integrity of rhyme and meter--and meaning!--across different languages. Brodsky's introduction hails Akhmatova's deliberate structures and rhyming patterns, and while I don't read Russian, I can appreciate the instincts in Coffin's translation.

oeildetigre's review against another edition

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dark emotional medium-paced

2.5

katarinamilica's review against another edition

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dark emotional reflective

5.0

that stick in your hand is tracing mansions
in which we shall always be together.

amandacole's review against another edition

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3.0

Still just not a fan of poetry. Read this for a challenge.

italo_carlvino's review

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challenging dark emotional reflective slow-paced

3.75

gmrickel's review

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I would have appreciated this collection more had I read it while I was studying Russian history/language/culture. Currently I’m looking for something different in my poetry.

krisbot's review against another edition

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5.0

for this book, i moved through it really slowly, picking it up once and a while just to read a few poems. finally i got through the last few i had left and god they're so good. all of them hold so much emotional weight and power it's not like anything i've read before. it's incredible to me how people can write like this and i want to pick up her completed works soon!!!

markcdickson's review

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3.0

There are some great and impactful poems in here.

I just do not think books with very short poems are for me. I struggle to focus and connect with them when there’s so little to connect to.

fdhynst's review against another edition

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4.0

the translation, with some exceptions, could be better; didn’t keep the original rhyme scheme

msgtdameron's review

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5.0

I am not a fan of poetry, especially poetry that expresses the feelings of events from the female perspective. But, Akhmatova's poems touched me. Her description of Leningrad during the siege, of being a family member waiting for news of her son and the kinship created in the queue, of life both in pre October Russia, post revolution and during Stalin's terror. All are haunting, hopeful, yet at a lose for the future. An amazing poet with amazing poems whom should be read more in the west than she is.