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Final Meeting: Selected Poetry Of Anna Akhmatova Paperback – June 30, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Always love Akhmatova's poetry. I actually read this side by side with two other translations. Not all the same poems in each book, a nice thing about collections is you get a little variety with each.
I will say that Andrey Kneller's translation is far superior to the Penguin book translated by D.M. Thomas. The Mariner book edition translated by Stanley Kunitz, however, was also excellent. It really depended on the poem which I liked better. An interesting afternoon, having three books of poetry side by side and reading three different translations. Andrey, a wonderful job with the epilogue to "Requiem". I had tears in my eyes.
The only negative. I wish there was an introduction by the translator explaining his thought process. I always read this (in prose as well as poetry) and usually find very helpful insights. An idea to consider for future books.
Review written by John Aitken.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Andrey Kneller's translation of Akhmatova's poetry is unmatched. He really brings her poetry to life in a very real and raw way. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Elizabeth L.
Final Meeting: Selected Poetry of Anna Akhmatova is a fine bilingual selection of Akhmatova's forceful poems (and available for free on Kindle! Read morePublished 18 months ago by David J. Alexander
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... Read morePublished 18 months ago by S. Harris
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. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Currer Bell