Waiting for the Muse: Poems of Anna Akhmatova

by Frances Laird



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 9/14/2021

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 270
ISBN : 9781665536455
Format : E-Book
Dimensions : N/A
Page Count : 270
ISBN : 9781665536448

About the Book

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.

About the Author

Frances Laird has long been interested in the life and work of the Russian poet Anna Akhmatova. Laird studied at Moscow State University and earned a master’s degree in Russian language and literature from Bryn Mawr College. There her study of translation encouraged her to write Swan Songs: Akhmatova and Gumilev, an exploration through their poetry of the passionate and tragic relationship of Akhmatova and Nikolai Gumilev. Waiting for the Muse follows the changing appearance of the Muse, the embodiment of creative inspiration, in Akhmatova’s poetry. Laird is now working on a translation of Akhmatova’s masterpiece, Poem Without the Hero. She remains committed to bringing Akhmatova’s poetry in as faithful translation as possible to a wider English-speaking readership.