Explanation and analysis of Anna Akhmatova’s poem cycle “Requiem,” including overviews of the major groupings, trends, and overall themes. To avoid persecution by Stalin, Anna Akhmatova burnt her writings and memorised the words of her poem Requiem. By doing so she ensured. Anna Akhmatova. Requiem. No foreign sky protected me, no stranger’s wing shielded my face. I stand as witness to the common lot, survivor of that time, that.
Night of stone, whose bright enormous star stares me straight in the eyes, promising death, ah soon! The Yenisei swirls the North Star shines, as it will shine forever; and the blue lustre of my loved one’s eyes is clouded over by the final horror. At the climax of the cycle of grief, however, three figures of Christian religious significance appear: The set of poems is introduced by one prose paragraph that briefly states how she waited for months outside Leningrad Prison, along with many other women, for just a glimpse of fathers, brothers or sons who had been taken away by the secret police in Soviet Russia.
One day, a women in the crowd recognized her, and asked her to write a poem about the experience. Nothing I counted mine, out of my life, is mine to take: No foreign sky protected me, no stranger’s wing shielded my face.
The poem opens with a declaration of the pain of one woman, an individual circumstance but recognizable to all who lived through the era. That moan, that sudden spurt of woman’s tears, shows one distinguished from the rest, as if they’d knocked her to the ground and wrenched the heart out of her kahmatova, then let her go, reeling, alone.
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Understanding the Poem Cycle “Requiem” by Anna Akhmatova
Epilogue The epilogue brings back the sense of community or shared suffering introduced at the outset. Their minds became the paper on which Akhmatova preserved and revised her poem word by word, comma by comma, with the precision typical of literature crafted with an eye towards the permanence of writing.
Akhmatvoa very fact that it was suppressed gave it added significance, slowly eroding the legitimacy of the regime. Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners. I have a lot of work to do today; I need to slaughter memory, Turn my living soul to stone Then teach myself to live again.
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BBC – Culture – Requiem: How a poem resisted Stalin
Yezhovshchina the time of Yezhov. I’ve woven them a garment that’s prepared out of poor words, those that I overheard, and will hold fast to every word and glance all of my days, even in new mischance, and if a gag should blind my tortured mouth, through which a hundred million people shout, then let them pray for me, as I do pray for them, this eve of my remembrance day. Also, grief, disbelief, rationalization, mourning, and resolve are just a few themes that remain constant throughout the entire cycle.
Immediately a flood of tears, Followed by a total isolation, As if a beating heart is painfully ripped out, or, Thumped, she lies there brutally laid out, But she still manages to walk, hesitantly, alone.
Notice how she moves from the personal to the universal and then concludes on an intense note of personal suffering. Rather than church and religion being the means of hope, salvation, and a beacon of comfort, only the news of incarcerated loved ones has any bearing on their lives. Requiem is separated into three sections which set the structure of the entire cycle.
Stalin was dead, but the system of censorship he had created was still in place. Prayer again has a role, and is more than simply a plea for prayer but the sentiment that the narrator will pray for both herself and others. For 17 months, she waited outside the prison in Leningrad just waiting for a glimpse or notification of what was going to happen to her son.
Creep up on me Like a practised bandit with a heavy weapon. Wikisource has original text related to this article: What miracle do you see in a Siberian blizzard? Now she started out of the torpor common to us all and asked me in a whisper everyone whispered there: But even in this new climate, a poem about the terror, about the experience of living under totalitarianism, a poem that named the chief of the secret police and captured the de-humanising effects of the entire system, would never be tolerated.
This section concludes with Akhmatova describing how no one can take away the important things that go unnoticed such as a touch, a look, visits, etc. Akhmatova feared that it would be too dangerous for herself and those around her if she released the poem during the s when it was written.
This set of poems is from the perspective of the other women who also stood outside Leningrad prison waiting for just a glimpse or notification from their fathers, sons, or husbands who had been arrested also.
Improvisation was particularly intolerable to Akhmatova.