Anna Akhmatova

Anna Andreyevna Gorenko (23 June [O.S. 11 June] 1889 – 5 March 1966), better known by the pen name Anna Akhmatova (/ɑːkˈmɑːtɔːvə/; Russian: Анна АхматоваIPA: [ɐxˈmatəvə]), was one of the most significant Russian poets of the 20th century. She was shortlisted for the Nobel Prize in 1965 and received second-most (three) nominations for the award the following year.

8th November 1913

‘A cast-iron fence,’

‘A grey cloud in the sky overhead,’

‘Ah! You thought I’m the kind too,’

‘All I see is hilly Pavlovsk,’

‘Already the maple leaves’

‘Always so many pleas from a lover!’

‘…And no-one came to meet me’

A Ride

‘As a silver, delicate strand’

‘A string of little beads at my neck,’

At Tsarskoye Selo

‘Because somewhere there’s simplicity and light,’


“Broad Gold, the Evening”


Dark Dream: 2

‘Don’t taunt your heart with earthly joys,’

‘Drink my soul, as if with a straw’

‘Drowsiness returns me’

‘Earthly fame is smoke,’


‘Evening hours at the desk,’

Evening Room

‘Everything’s looted, betrayed and traded,’


For Alexander Blok

For Mikhail Lozinsky

‘For the last time, we met,’

‘Hands clasped under the dark veil.’

‘He loved three things, alive:’

‘Here we’re all drunkards and whores,’

‘How can you bear to view the Neva,’

‘How I loved, and love, to look’

‘I asked the cuckoo’

‘I came here, in idleness.’

‘Ice, resonant, floats by,’

‘I don’t know if you’re alive or dead -‘

‘I hear the oriole’s ever-mournful voice,’

‘I’ll be there and weariness will vanish.’

‘I’ll erase this day from your memory,’

Imitation of Innokenty Annensky

‘I’m not one of those who left their land’

‘I pray to the ray from the window-pane’

‘Is my destiny so changed,’

‘Is this century worse than those before?’

I Taught Myself To Live Simply

‘It’s fine here: the rustle and crackle;’

‘It was not mystery or grief,’

‘I’ve written down the words’

‘I was not born too early or too late,’

‘I won’t beg for your love.’

Legend on An Unfinished Portrait

‘Let the organ peal out once more,’

“Like a White Stone”

‘Like a white stone in a well’s depths,’

‘Like one betrothed I receive’

Lot’s Wife


‘Memory of sun ebbs from the heart.’

Memory’s Voice

‘My heart beats smoothly, steadily,’

‘My imagination, obediently,’

‘My voice is weak, but not my will’

‘No one sung about that meeting,’

‘Now farewell, capital,’

‘Now no one will listen to my songs.’

‘Now the pillow’s,’

‘Oh, and the day was cold,’

Petrograd, 1919


Reading Hamlet



Song of the Last Meeting

‘The bridge of logs is black and twisted,’

‘The evening light is broad and yellow,’

The Guest

‘The high vault is bluer’

‘There I saw out’

‘There’s a secret border in human closeness,’

The road by the seaside garden darkens,

‘The sky’s blue lacquer grows dim,’

‘To feel thoroughly ill, to sweat in delirium,’

‘To lose the freshness of speech, the simplicity of feeling,’


‘We shall not sip from the same glass,’

White Night

‘Why do you wander, restless?’

‘Why pretend to be’

‘Yes, I loved those nocturnal gatherings – ‘

‘You should appear less often in my dreams’