Waiting for the Muse: Poems of Anna Akhmatova presents new translations of the work of this great Russian poet, set in the context of her life. Akhmatova saw the source of her creativity as the appearance to her of the Muse, the embodiment of poetic inspiration. In the poems written over her lifetime, from the early love lyrics to poems of resistance during the Stalinist Terror to poems of remembrance as her life neared its end, her conception of the Muse changed with the circumstances of her life. The Muse first appeared as an unpredictable young woman, then the classical figure of Erato, then a woman who stood beside her in the prison lines, then a cruel taskmaster. Akhmatova herself became the Muse for other Russian poets. Ultimately, Akhmatova concluded that the Muse may have been the torment she had been forced to suffer.