Wednesday, March 23, 2005

This startling painting

...of poet Anna Akhmatova has been on my mind ever since I opened the email containing it yesterday. A thoughtful poet sent the webpage to me. I'm not familiar with Akhmatova's work or the Acmeist movement of which she was part. However, going by the brief biographies I've read, I think the painter captured the power of this influential poet not only in the posture and expression, but in the space around her. While she is wearing the most intense blues, bright yellows surround Akhmatova as if she is shedding light on the otherwise blue environment. The portrait is really a biography in itself.


Constance said...

Thank You for sharing "this startling painting."

I have difficulty navigating the web in English, imagine my trouble in Russian.

GM said...

Consider yourself assigned, Brenda. Akhmatova is a must read. Esp for you. If you lived nearby I'd loan you the massive collected I have. She's another of my favourites, but I am partial to Russians of the last century in general.


P.S. I've seen this painting before, but I can't remember where. It's quite lovely. Why don't people paint poets anymore? In fact, why isn't there more cross pollination between the arts, in general?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps a kind of cross-pollination occurs through the numerous translations of the poet's writings, as well as through the other medium of art. There are so many translations done, (some good some bad), and many more still being done on her work, and this seems to me to provide a different medium, a crossing of writers from different generations and different ethnicity.

Brenda Schmidt said...

Will do, G.

I just checked out Akhmatova books and there are plenty to choose from. Which translations do you guys have and which would you guys recommend?

Thanks Tracy for pointing me to Akhmatova.

Anonymous said...

I am partial to Jane Kenyon's translations and to Judith Hemschemeyer both of which can be found on this web page here. There are so many different translations that I can't really keep up.

GM said...

Hey B,

This is the collected I have here.

It's all Hemschemeyer translations and they're pretty good, perhaps the standard now.

The book is significantly cheaper than when I bought it, so indulge yourself.


Brenda Schmidt said...

Ok. I just ordered an Anna Akhmatova book.