[Marxism] Fwd: Singer Iris DeMent's Homage to Soviet Poet Anna Akhmatova - bookforum.com / miscellany

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Feb 25 06:36:32 MST 2016

Few poets stood higher on Joseph Stalin’s hit list than Anna Akhmatova, 
the Soviet doyen of reverie and suffering who was born near the Black 
Sea in 1899 to an upper-class family. Like many in her literary milieu 
before the Russian Revolution, she revolted against drowsy symbolism and 
became a poet of spiritual clarity and of simplicity—but she always 
resisted the characterization of her poems as the work of a seductive 
poetess or a counter-revolutionary. She preferred to consider herself a 
poet of the soul. Certainly, the architects of Soviet ideology, first 
under Lenin and later under Stalin, thought of her that way and set 
about trying to stop her from writing poetry of refined self-awareness. 
Censors accused her of flirting with mysticism and eroticism and lacking 
political conviction. As early as 1921, nine years after Akhmatova 
published her first book of poems, the Cheka arrested her former 
husband, Nikolai Gumilev, who was a charismatic figure in Russian poetry 
before 1917 and the father of her only child, on the trumped-up charge 
that he was an anti-Bolshevik conspirator. Three weeks later, he was 
executed. The charge was, of course, fabricated. His reputation would 
not be rehabilitated until 1992.

full: http://www.bookforum.com/pubdates/15709

DeMent performing song based on Akhmatova lyric:


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