Soviet Union: Poetic Justice

Poetic Justice

"The stars of death stood over us./ And Russia, guiltless, beloved, writhed/ under the crunch of bloodstained boots,/ under the wheels of Black Marias." So wrote Anna Akhmatova, perhaps Russia's finest woman poet, in Requiem, a moving testimony to those who kept vigils outside prison gates for loved ones swept away in the Stalinist reign of terror. Written between 1935 and 1940, the poem was not officially published in full until last year.

Akhmatova, whose former husband was executed by the Bolsheviks, was denounced by Soviet authorities and only received some recognition in the years before her death in 1966. So...

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