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Anna Akhmatova

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Anna Akhmatova (Анна Ахматова, Анна Андреевна Горенко, June 23, 1889 (June 11, Old Style and also St. John's Eve) - March 5, 1966) was the pen name of Anna Andreevna Gorenko, one of the most significant Russian Acmeist poets.

Akhmatova's work ranges from short lyric poems through poem cycles, such as her masterpiece on the Stalinist terror "Requiem", to substantial verse pieces including "Poem Without a Hero". Her work addresses themes including time and memory, the fate of creative women, and the difficulties of living and writing in the shadow of Stalinism.

Akhmatova was born in Bolshoy Fontan near Odessa. Her childhood does not appear to have been happy; her parents separated in 1905.

She married the poet Nikolay Gumilyov in 1910. Their son, born in 1912, was the historian Lev Gumilyov.

Akhmatova maintained a long friendship with fellow Russian poetess Marina Tsvetaeva, with several poems written in the form of correspondence between the two.

Nikolay Gumilyov was executed in 1921 for activities considered anti-Soviet; Akhmatova was effectively silenced, unable to publish poetry, between 1925 and 1952 (except for an interval between 1940 and 1946). She died in Leningrad in 1966.

There is a museum devoted to Akhmatova at the Fountain House (more properly known as the Sheremetev Palace in St Petersburg), where Akhmatova lived from the mid 1920s until 1952.

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