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Final Meeting: Selected Poetry Of Anna Akhmatova Paperback – June 30, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 130 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (June 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1438234732
  • ISBN-13: 978-1438234731
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.3 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,030,066 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Andrey Kneller is a Russian-born poet/translator. Andrey was 10 years old when his family immigrated from Moscow, Russia to New York in 1993. He grew reading and speaking Russian fluently. At fourteen, he started writing his own poetry and not long after that, he started translating his favorite Russian poets into English. Understanding that Russian poets have been represented rather poorly in the west, the goal of translation for him has always been to keep as much of the original as possible, preserving meaning without losing rhyme and music. At the present, he has published 9 books of translations, including the works of Anna Akhmatova, Marina Tsvetaeva, and Vladimir Mayakovsky, among others, and Discernible Sound, a book of his own poetry. Andrey currently lives with his wife and daughter in Ashland, MA and works as a high school math teacher in Boston.

More About the Author

Andrey Kneller is a Russian-born poet/translator. Andrey was 10 years old when his family immigrated from Moscow, Russia to New York in 1993. He grew up reading and speaking Russian fluently. At fourteen, he started writing his own poetry and not long after that, he started translating his favorite Russian poets into English. Understanding that Russian poets have been represented rather poorly in the west, the goal of translation for him has always been to keep as much of the original as possible, preserving meaning without losing rhyme and music. At the present, he has published 9 books of translations, including the works of Anna Akhmatova, Marina Tsvetaeva, and Vladimir Mayakovsky, among others, and Discernible Sound, a book of his own poetry. Andrey currently lives with his wife and daughter in Ashland, MA and works as a high school math teacher in Boston.

Customer Reviews

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By doc peterson VINE VOICE on March 7, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Andrey Kneller, the translator of this collection first came to my attention through his work translating Marina Tsvetaeva My Poems: Selected Poetry Of Marina Tsvetaeva (English and Russian Edition) which I thought was excellent. This, therefore led me to his translations of Akhmatova, of whom I am a tremendous admirer and fan. As anticipated Kneller's translations are outstanding. Naturally some latitude is given the translator (particularly with poetry) - one of the reasons why I purchased this collection (and the Tsvetaeva as well) is because they are dual language, an added bonus. Even expecting (and forgiving) the editorial decisons made, Kneller has truly created masterpieces of his own from Akhmatova's work. For example, "In the evening":

With sadness words cannot describe,
OUt in the garden, music played.
The frozen oysters on the plate
Smelled pungently of sea and brine.

He gently touched my evening dress
And said, "I am a loyal friend!"
And yet, the contact of his hand
Felt nothing like a true caress.

Thus one might pet a cat, a bird,
Or watch a slender circus rider ...
Beneath his golden lashes, hiding
Amusement, happiness and mirth.

And as the smoke diffuses idly,
The doleful fiddles sing above it:
"O, thank the Heavens - finally
First time alone with your beloved."

The original Russian doesn't quite fit, but the sense of space, time and duplicity are brilliantly captured by Kneller. I reluctantly rate it five stars, however, for the selection. Akhmatova'w work spans nearly 5 decades, from the early 20th century through the Khrushchev era.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stuart P. Keating on December 31, 2014
Format: Paperback
Disclosure: Mr. Kneller invited me to review his collection of translations.

For several years now I have been a student of the relationship between state-making projects and state-resistant peoples, between totalitarianism and the humanities, between oppression and resistance.

Naturally this means I have also been a student of Russia, her history, her politics, her literature and her language.

Russian is notoriously difficult to translate--the terse, heavy sentences cluster like firs in a boreal forest, yielding their meaning to the outsider only after much practice and study, not only of the language, but of the culture, of idiom, of context.

Mr. Kneller believes that translation should not only convey (as accurately as possible) idiom and meaning, but also the form in which the idiom and meaning were originally conveyed. Accordingly, Mr. Kneller's translations scan appropriately, and rhyme where they should.

I can't help but feel that Akhmatova, herself the undisputed master of Acmeist poetry (concerned with form and rigor and with using words in their most direct and unsettling meaning), would be very pleased with Mr. Kneller's efforts at translation.

Final Meeting assembles, in largely chronological order, Akhmatova's stormiest love poems, many of which are nearly haiku-like "complete fragments" of dark, rich coloration, sonorous and devastating. The work concludes with an excellently translated and annotated [Requiem[/i], considered rightly to be Akhmatova's crowning work and one of the best, most enduring works of Soviet literature.

Reviewing translations is hard work, involving the comparison of several different translated versions of poetry along with the contemplation of the poems as singular works. Mr.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Currer Bell on August 9, 2014
Format: Paperback
Anna Akhmatova lives in a class of heroine-poets, the beauty of her verse would be just as sweeping had the Russian revolution never happened. In lyric love poetry, she is comparable to Edna St. Vincent Millay - lovely and fearless and raw. Translator Andrey Kneller captures this quality in her poetry while preserving end of line rhyme in his English translation. But because the revolution did in fact happen, we also have Akhmatova the witness poet - a poet still beautiful but very much afraid, yet knows she must be a voice for those who cannot speak. She is passionate and crushed by the Soviet boot, but when asked to depict all this, she does not shrink. These are the great dichotomies of her work and Kneller skillfully juxtaposes them in one accessible volume for both Akhmatova's old friends and those who are just getting to know her.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. Harris on January 10, 2015
Format: Paperback
Excellent. I don't know Russian, so I can't comment on the closeness of the translations. That said, I've now read at least three versions of many of these poems, and found this edition to be the most attentive to maintaining rhyme. When dealing with another language, that has to be very difficult. And yet, as I read these versions, I felt, maybe for the first time, a sense of Akhmatova's delicate and precise voice. Note that the e-book price for this book is an incredible value.
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