While I was composing this post, I happened to have some free time and discovered a newspaper article reminding me October marked the 100th anniversary of the Russian October Revolution, otherwise known as the Bolshevik Revolution. The Russian October Revolution emerged when an alliance of far-left political parties led by the Bolsheviks overthrew the provisional government of Alexander Kerensky in a near bloodless coup. Not to to turn this post into a mini Russian history lesson, but the October Revolution eventually led Russia into becoming a Communist country. Today’s post will be dedicated to the Russian poet Anna Akhmatova, who wrote before and after this period.
The timing for reading was not what I intended, this was the second book I read after my break up over the summer. Yes, I read it after the disaster that was Bridget Jones’s Diary. As I was reading, I found her words comforting and optimistic. Though, she wrote these poems 78 years before I was born. I felt a bond or an understanding of my complex changing emotions. The simple language perfectly conveys a wide range of emotions that many poets I’ve noticed fail to capture even using complicated wording or imagery. So many awesome lines, for each section I decided to choose one or two of my faves! My opinion of her works is similar to my views about Kahil Gibran in the way I think it’s a shame her poetry is not more well-known. As I was reading through her poems, there was so many awesome lines. Her poems frequently displays reoccurring imagery such as a season or a particular feeling. When I break down, her book I’ll be including a few of the images standing out to me as I was reading.
Imagery: Many of her poems in this volume remind me of Yeats.
Imagery: pastoral, yet focuses on the subject of love starts innocent but gradually becomes more sexual. springtime-unhappy, corrupted, or hints of dying instead of growing.
Favorite quotes: “It’s strange to remember: my soul yearned:
Now I’ve become a play thing,
Like my rosy friend the cockatoo
How boring, how boring it’s for me to live!” (100).
-Imagery: focuses on love, lust, heartbreak, and loneliness and expresses feelings of being a rejected woman
-Favorite quote: “Don’t you love me, don’t you want to look at me? (133)
White Flock published 1917 spans 1915-1917
“Somewhere there is a simple life and a world,/Transparent, warm and joyful..
“I seldom think about you now/And I’m not fascinated by your fate” (144)
- Gradually, in this collection in the second half of this book she focuses more on WWI. Her WWI poems capture perfectly the grief and optimism of a united Russia. As I read this section, I felt a pang of sadness, because I knew how history ended up playing out and all her dreams would soon be smashed by the Bolshevik Revolution.
Plantain published 1921 spans 1917-1921
-similar to her early works like Rosary
Imagery: death, life, negative about the world, a loss of “wonder” and tangible dreams, and a continuation of her Russian poems.
Imagery: more about blackness, destruction, away from the homeland, and fairy tale quality
Favorite quote- “In those fabulous years” from “Tyutchev
“The Tale of the Black Ring”-perfectly depicts the dark tone and fairy tale quality of the poems in this addition.