Monday, 16 March 2015

Anna Akhmatove and Writing Under Pressure.

anna-akhmatova-1922.jpg (537×745)

Anna 1922

Click for more  images of Anna A.


To cheer me up (there are reasons...) in the days between my birthday and Mother's Day,   @lickedspoon sent me a copy of this poem by Anna Akhmatova.  
She (D) and I visited the home of this iconic Russian poet in 1991, just after the Yeltsin Revolution. *

In her narrow room my daughter and I thought about Anna A, who was now at last being venerated for her determined pursuit of her art and her right to create it. There had been a time when she was declared a non-person with no papers and no rights but survived and worked on, sheltered by brave friends.  Her work, fated to be destroyed on paper, survives because her friends and followers learned all her poems by heart, word for word.  

Reading Akhmatova's wonderful, uplifting poem here, and thinking about her pressured but luminously creative life I think again about contemporary writers (myself sometimes included...) who rather go on about the way we are treated by the distressed end of the publishing industry.


I also feel humbled by having a daughter who knew just how to remind me of all this.


When I Write Poems

Anna Akhmatova 

When I’m embraced by airy inspiration,
I am a bridge between the sky and earth.
Of all what heart high-values in creation
I am a king, when breathing with a verse!

Just if my soul wishes it, my fairy,
I shall give you the peaceful coast band,
Where, with a hum, the pinky sea is carrying
The dreaming tide to reach the dreaming land.

I can do all, just trust in me: I’m mighty;
I have the roots for kindness and for love;
And if I want, from clouds and from the lightning
I’ll make a cover your sweet bed above.

And I can, dear, create a word such special,
That it would change laws of the whole world,
To call again its own celebration
And stop the sun from fall in the night cold.

I’m all another in my inspiration,
I am a bridge between the sky and earth.
Of all what heart high-values in creation
I am a king, when breathing with a verse!




Her Desk  

Click for an insight into her life.

* That visit inspired my novel Journey to Moscow. But that's another story.

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