I have two main comments to make about Anna Akhmatova's poem "Requiem." First, I'm sure it's better read in the original Russian. Depending on the translator, too, I suppose, other language versions might be as powerful as I've heard, but the language wasn't very compelling to me. If the subject hadn't been so gruesome, I might not have felt so sad upon finishing the poem.And secondly, I fully understand that these were poems Akhmatova wrote and compiled while she was in prison, while she was suffering along with everyone else she knew, but I felt the spirit was lost from them — and by that I mean I didn't feel strongly about the pain she was going through. It felt almost half-hearted; as if Akhmatova knew what she was trying to say, knew what she had experienced, but couldn't get the right imagery and description of it. Again, this could be a language barrier thing, but the poem's reputation seems much stronger than the actual substance of the poem.The only real powerful stanza to me was the last one. I felt Akhmatova could have expanded immensely on that one alone and made it a stunning last condemnation to the labor camps and the Stalinist regime. But because of the lackluster language of the rest of the poem, it wasn't nearly as good of a climax.Ahmed Azimov
Absolute tragic :(("Silent flows the river DonA yellow moon looks quietly onSwanking about, with cap askewIt sees through the window a shadow of youGravely ill, all aloneThe moon sees a woman lying at homeHer son is in jail, her husband is dead Say a prayer for her instead."Lauralee
Anna wrote these poems while her husband and son were imprisoned. She would stand outside the prison and wait for hours for the chance to glimpse them. The poems are passionate with religious allusions. Like Pasternak's poetry.