Thursday, August 12, 2010

Broad and yellow is the evening light by Anna Akhmatova.

Post 541 - Anna Akhmatova (1889 – 1966) was the pen name of Anna Andreëvna Gorenko, the celebrated Russian poet who bridged Tsarist and Revolutionary Russia. Although she was adored by the public and called "the soul of her time," she suffered greatly under Stalin's disfavor. Born in Odessa, she started writing at the age of 11 inspired by the poetry of Racine and Pushkin. Her father, however, didn't want to see her verses printed under his "respectable" name, so she adopted the surname of her Tatar grandmother as a pseudonym. The growing distaste which the personal and religious elements in her poetry aroused in Soviet officials forced her into long periods of silence before the poetic masterpieces of her later years were published abroad. Between 1921 and 1953, many of those closest to her emigrated or were killed or were imprisoned. In 1965, she was allowed to travel to Sicily and England, where she received the Taormina prize and an honorary doctoral degree from Oxford University. Before her death in Leningrad at the age of 76, Akhmatova was elected to the presidium of the Writers' Union, from which she had earlier been expelled in disgrace. Commenting on her troubled life, she said, "Why complain? Poetry is respected here. They kill you for it."

Broad and yellow is the evening light by Anna Akhmatova.

Broad and yellow is the evening light
Tender the April coolness
You are so many years late,
Nevertheless I am glad you came.

Sit here close to me
And look on joyfully:
Here is a blue composition book
With the poems of my childhood.

Forgive me that I ignored the sun
And that I lived in sorrow
Forgive, forgive that I
Mistook too many others for you.

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