Explanation and analysis of Anna Akhmatova’s poem cycle “Requiem,” including overviews of the major groupings, trends, and overall themes. 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. To avoid persecution by Stalin, Anna Akhmatova burnt her writings and memorised the words of her poem Requiem. By doing so she ensured.

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Wikimedia Commons has media related to Anna Akhmatova. Everywhere, forever and always, I will never forget one single thing. Paradoxically, state censorship and control over writers had turned those writers into heroes of resistance.

Still I Rise Maya Angelou. Her poems seek to bear witness to the oppressive silence during that time. Anna Akhmatova must have suffered terribly yet found the courage to express her grief and anger through her writing. Anna Akhmatova’s Other Poems. Prologue That was a time when only the dead could smile, delivered from their wars, and the sign, the soul, of Leningrad dangled outside its prison-house; and the regiments of the condemned, herded in the railroad-yards, shrank from the engine’s whistle-song whose burden went, “Away, pariahs!

I At dawn they came and took you away.

By remembering what happened and not allowing yourself to ever forget is a part of the stage of suffering that allows you to move on in life.

I followed you As one does when a corpse is being removed. What specters mock them now, amid the fury of Siberian snows, or in the blighted circle of the moon? 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.

X Crucifixion “Do not weep for me, Mother, when I am in my grave. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites. Yet in “X” religious metaphor again makes a reappearance, with the crucifixion aspect. The “Requiem” cycle was written as a response to the imprisonment of Akhmatova’s son, during which time she stood in a line outside of the jail every day for seventeen months waiting for news.


Akhmatova wants her readers to recognize that they had to overcome this together, not by being saved by a figment of the imagination. One day somebody in the crowd identified me.

When she made changes to her poem, she asked her friends to remember them, insisting that the final draft of the poem be the one they would remember from now on. Interestingly, she adopts a conventional rhyme scheme while speaking about the suffering of the other women who waited with her outside prison and also about national suffering and trauma, perhaps suggesting the inevitability of the crisis and also creating a relationship between the general and the personal that is what every individual woman faces is not unique to her but is shared with numerous other women-it is a recurrent story.

Samizdat began with poems, which were short and therefore easy to multiply by hand or typewriter, but it soon extended to novels and political essays as well.

Understanding the Poem Cycle “Requiem” by Anna Akhmatova

On that occasion there was a woman standing behind me, her lips blue with cold, who, of course, had never in her life heard my name. Most were either executed or exiled. When Stalin heard of the meeting through an informant, he was reported to have said: What shimmering mirage around requieem circle of the moon?

He was in turn denounced in by Molotov, executed, and replaced by Beria. That’s why I pray not for myself But all of you who stood there with me Through fiercest cold and scorching July heat Under a towering, completely blind red wall. The hour has come to remember the dead. Now once more they burn, Eyes that focus like a hawk, And, upon your cross, the talk Is again of death.

I don’t care anymore. That moan, that sudden spurt of woman’s tears, shows one distinguished from the rest, as if they’d knocked her to the ground ajmattova wrenched the heart out of her breast, then let her go, reeling, alone.

BBC – Culture – Requiem: How a poem resisted Stalin

Akhmatova had composed her poem on paper, not orally, and Requiem had none of the structures of oral literature, such as exchangeable building blocks, repeated phrases, and improvisation. Her husband Nikolay Punin had been arrested for his second time and placed into jail where he died. The cold of an icon was on your lips, a death-cold sweat On your brow – I will never forget this; I will gather To wail with the wives of the murdered streltsy 1 Inconsolably, beneath the Kremlin towers.


Everything has become muddled forever – I can no longer distinguish Who is an animal, who a person, and how long The wait can be for an execution. Stalin was keeping a tight grip on the printing presses, and he would not endorse a poem that grappled with the gulag, the vast prison system his regime had set up across the Soviet Union. Creep up on me Like a practised bandit with a heavy weapon. IV Giggling, poking fun, everyone’s darling, The carefree sinner of Tsarskoye Selo 2 If only you could have foreseen What life would do with you – That you would stand, parcel in hand, Beneath the Crosses 3three hundredth in line, Burning the new year’s ice With your hot tears.

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.

Let the thawing ice flow like tears From my immovable bronze eyelids And let the prison requuiem coo in the distance While ships sail quietly along the river. You are my son, changed into nightmare. Delivering Poems Around The World. What miracle do you see in a Siberian blizzard?

Requiem: How a poem resisted Stalin

But what if she were arrested and executed? Magdalena smote herself and wept, The favourite disciple turned to stone, But reqiem, where the mother stood silent, Not one person dared to look. Overwhelmed with sadness, the ending closes with:. State censorship and control over writers had turned those writers into heroes of resistance, making them the most dangerous enemies of the regime.

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