Word List – Ahkmatova

I am generally obsessed with Anna Ahkmatova, probably because nothing in my life has anything to do with firing squads, Gulags, or having my statue stare across the Neva river at the gates of Kresty prison in St. Petersburg. (Leningrad)

After the secret police executed her first husband, they arrested her second husband and son. She spent 17 months standing in front of the prison with other wives and mothers, waiting for word of either their execution or exile to the Gulags. What holds me there with her is when she wrote how someone in the line asked her “could one ever describe this?” and after a moment, she replied “Yes. Yes I can.” What astounding confidence, how sure her belief in her skill and her will to give voice to the unbearable. To which she wrote: “Mountains bow down before this grief…”

When I think of how necessary it is to write fearlessly, to stretch the fabric of my words until they tear, I think of Anna standing before the gates. “Yes. Yes I can.”

Here is a word list from her poem “Requiem” If anyone randomly sees this page, feel free to write something and put your link in the comments.


13 thoughts on “Word List – Ahkmatova

  1. Ahkmatova has long been a favorite of mine as well, since meeting her first in the form she is perhaps most well known for, the Sevenling. But all her poetry has this backdrop of despair fought and overcome, but not without scars, not without cost. A fascinating subject and list, qbit. I will ponder it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. A great list! I don’t know the poet, her story intrigues .. naturally I must know more. Still wading thru Lorca / Hemmingway! Stay tuned, will try to (as a dearly departed friend loved to say) gin something up for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Giving a voice to the unbearable”..I love everything about this poem and the history it represents. I don’t know if I can manage the list until Friday, but I will certainly try! Love this Qbit!!

    Liked by 1 person

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