Anna Akhmatova, the poet of pain

* The author is part of the community of readers of La Vanguardia.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
03 March 2024 Sunday 09:42
13 Reads
Anna Akhmatova, the poet of pain

* The author is part of the community of readers of La Vanguardia

Anna Akhmatova (1889-1967) is considered the greatest representative of the so-called Silver Age of Russian poetry. The great Boris Pasternak was his contemporary.

"The mountains bend before such grief and the gigantic river remains dead

But the chain has strong locks

Behind them, only dungeons of the earth

And a melancholy that is death"

Anna was born in 1889 near Odessa, as the daughter of a family belonging to the nobility of Tatar origin. She studies Latin, History and Literature in Saint Petersburg, where she marries Nikolai Gumiliov, a poet who will not stand out as such, unlike her, and dies in 1966, also in Saint Petersburg.

Her son Lev spends his childhood with his paternal grandmother, since the poet considers motherhood to be a burden for her. Although later, later on, she pours out all the love that she had not given him during the first years of his life, she will fight with all her strength, those of a mother's courage, for his release, because he too lies, like so many others. , in the dungeons of death, built by Joseph Stalin.

And Anna composes this striking poem about Love and Pain, orally and clandestinely during the Stalinist terror that began in the 1930s. When she met at the house of her closest friend, Lydia, the wife of a prominent critic of Anna's , he whispered a few lines of his poem in her ear. And, when Lydia came to see her, Anna would give her a paper with some lines from her Requiem. Lydia read it and after trying to memorize it, she returned it to Anna who then burned it. And so these two women continued, day after day, month after month and, year after year. The ceremony was repeated as the Requiem took shape.

This close friendship between Anna and Lydia, daughter of a famous physicist, is born when she learns that Anna, thanks to a letter addressed to Stalin, achieves the freedom of her husband and her son, although he returns to prison.

On the other hand, Lydia Tschukovskaya's diary, where she writes down all the meetings with her friend Anna, becomes a unique testimony of those times of darkness, fear, misfortunes, death, suffering and, above all, Stalinist terror.

In 1950, as Anna's fight for her son Lev's freedom continues, she makes a decision. He decides to officially "repent" and commits to the new regime. After 30 years of silent resistance, he writes six poems in the form of a pamphlet with the name The Praise of Peace and this will be the first step towards Lev's freedom in 1956.

Well, then, we see that Anna Akhmatova did not fear for her life, but for that of her son, who had been imprisoned since 1949, along with her first husband who will be shot. She also married the Assyriologist Vladimir Shileiko (1918-1922) and the art historian Nikolai Punin (1922-1938).

It would not be until 1956 that she achieved the freedom of her son, three years after Stalin's death, which meant the great change in the then Soviet Union.

For all these reasons, I consider that Anna Akhmatova's work is a hymn to maternal love, more than anything, and has little to do with the fight for women's equality.

Because she? I spent my early childhood in Stalinist, Soviet Germany, and although I know very little about the true suffering of the people persecuted by the Stalinist regime, when reading about the tragic life of this poet, I thought that perhaps it would be interesting to dedicate some minutes to know about her, to her most outstanding work - Requiem - and in what terrible circumstances she composed it, always under the premise that women are capable of enduring pain infinitely greater than what a man would be capable of and, thanks to this, the The world continues to exist, because life is born from the womb of the woman.

But here it is about highlighting that in this case it is not about the demands of women, but about the political oppression that continues to be very present in political life in Russia. See the last victim.