Get a feeling of Anna Akhmatova’s poetry

 

portrait by Petrov-Vodkin

portrait by Petrov-Vodkin

From Wikipedia: ” Anna Andreyevna Gorenko, better known by the pen name Anna Akhmatova, was a Russian modernist poet, one of the most acclaimed writers in the Russian canon.”

She was born in Odessa (Ukraine) in 1889. I was born in the same city in 1934.

Her poetry loved by every Russian speaking person.

Anna’s life was very interesting and tragic. I am going to write about it later.

Below is one of her poems. It translated by Richard McKane.

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I taught myself to live simply and wisely,
to look at the sky and pray to God,
and to wander long before evening
to tire my superfluous worries.

*

When the burdocks rustle in the ravine
and the yellow-red rowanberry cluster droops
I compose happy verses
about life’s decay, decay and beauty.

*

I come back. The fluffy cat
licks my palm, purrs so sweetly
and the fire flares bright
on the saw-mill turret by the lake.

*

Only the cry of a stork landing on the roof
occasionally breaks the silence.
If you knock on my door
I may not even hear.

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My first birthday (true story).

This story inspired by the photo of NATALIA MAKS‘ below (used with her blessing).

PHOTO BY NATALIA MAKS

PHOTO BY NATALIA MAKS

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I was born in Odessa, a wonderful Ukrainian city on the shore of the Black Sea.

In May of 1935 my family celebrated my first birthday. At that time my father was 23 years old and my mother was two years younger.

My father was a very strong man. He could easily bend horseshoes. He was also a terrific swimmer.

His younger two brothers and three sisters and my mother’s younger brother were very good swimmers too. During summers they often volunteered as lifeguards.

It was a gorgeous sunny day and everyone was in the huge yard of our apartment house. Several tables were set in a circle. My large deep bath tub was placed in the center of the circle and I was enjoying life playing with rubber toys.

Embed from Getty Images

Everyone else was not playing. There were good speeches, strong drinks and abundance of food. My 40 years old Grandma was taking care of everything on the tables and often went to our apartment with somebody else to bring more food and drinks.

At one moment several sparrows came to see what was going on. I turned to watch them, lost my balance and went under the water. Then I tried to sit up but without success.

My parents and some other members of the family saw that I was drowning but they could not move. They were paralyzed!

Fortunately, at that moment my Grandma returned from the apartment and immediately picked me up. She checked that I was still alive and well. Then she looked at my parents, uncles and aunts and said just one word: “Lifeguards!”

 

 

 

My mother’s birthday.

Preliminary note: I was born in Odessa, a beautiful Ukrainian city on the shore of Black Sea. In several days I will be 80 years old.

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“Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it”.

Edmund Burke

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It was one of the happiest days of my life. My beautiful mother became 27  years old. My father returned from a business trip to Moscow and gave me a terrific birthday present – a German two-wheels bicycle with wide tires. 

It was my first two-wheels bicycle but it took only several minutes to learn how to ride it. Then my friends Vladimir and Peter brought their bicycles and we went outside to ride around the block.

There was a gorgeous summer day, the day of summer solstice. Almost no clouds and a light breeze from the sea. Adults were busy preparing for the birthday party and we enjoyed our freedom very much.

All of a sudden we heard a loud music. Pedestrians came closer to loudspeakers (there were several of them on each block). Soon music stopped and somebody started a speech. We continued to ride around our block. Then there was silence.

A man came to us and said: “Boys, immediately go to your parents! A war started! Germans invaded our country!”

When I came home women were crying. Soon all of my uncles came to congratulate my mother and to give her their presents. Three of them were already in uniform. They kissed everyone and left. Then other men (relatives and friends) came to say goodbye.

It was a very sad birthday party. There were only women, old men and children. Nobody knew what would happen with us and if we would see our men again.

I went to sleep early and I did not know that at night bombs were falling on our wonderful city and people were dying.

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The Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union against Hitler’s Germany and its european allies lasted almost four years (June 22, 1941 – May 9, 1945). Nazi’s Germany was defeated but the USSR lost more than 26 mln people and the whole population went through terrible sufferings.

You can read about it and see some pictures HERE.

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In her “Remembering Rotterdam Blitz” post (http://indahs.wordpress.com/2014/05/14/rotterdam-blitz/Indah Susanti wrote: ” No wars have real winners, no citizens would enjoy living when their freedom and their identity being scrapped. The truth is people suffered most during the wars. It is a tragedy to be avoided”.

I am glad that she and some other bloggers remember history!