lunes, 18 de enero de 2016

Evening - Anna Akhmatova, Andrey Kneller (Translator)


Neither one of us understood
How small the earth was for two

Evening is Akhmatova's first book, published in 1912. This collection includes some beautifully
crafted poems that brought her critical acclaim. Through the art of simplicity, she managed to convey many aspects of our complex behavior.

A decision, a depart, different stages of a relationship, a failed marriage, a brief existence, the desire of returning to what is essential. An eerie atmosphere covers the entire book, unveiling the intrinsic bond between opposite elements that necessarily complement each other. There is simply too much love and too much loss on every page Akhmatova wrote.
And your sorrow, hidden from others,
Drew me close and opened forthright
And you say just how much I was smothered
By the poisonous yearning inside.

Her verses portray fragments of emotions that can be seen in the beginning of a relationship. Emotions that either evolve or degenerate, until there is nothing but distance and pride.
Everything seems to have been written by someone that was able to feel everything. Until there was nothing left.
The ice has covered up the garden,
It sparkles and it cracks.
The one who left me is disheartened
But there's no coming back.

There are few poems filled with effusive impressions that made me feel a bit uncomfortable, since I honestly cannot connect with that kind of strong sentiment. So the lines that describe someone's lament as a response to the aching absence of love usually leave me confused, when such lament involves an absurd desire of wanting to merge with the earth because someone does not share the same feelings. But I did enjoy the poems written with a much balanced tone, and the ones that illustrate other sides that together constitute what we know as human nature. Luckily, those were the majority.
In the heart, the memory of the sun fades,
Yellower turns the grass.
The wind disperses the early flakes
Barely, with each pass.
In narrow channels, water won't flow -
Cooling, stands still.
Here nothing will ever happen, I know, -
It never will!

I will keep exploring Akhmatova's poetry so as to witness what I believe must be a fascinating journey through the years, as she reached a more mature style. Even though this first collection of hers was an impressive start. Her writing is deeply lyrical and, fortunately, lacks of all superfluous attempt of embellishment. Her poetry echoes every raw emotion that many are unwilling to acknowledge. Or worse, unable to explain.
Here years can pass without a word.

* A nice translation by Andrey Kneller. This is the second time I read his work and I'm very much pleased with what I found.

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