Akhmatova, Anna (1889–1966) By Renner-Fahey, Ona
Anna Akhmatova was one of Russia’s most famous poets and arguably its most famous woman poet. During her formative years, she belonged to a literary movement known as Acmeism. The Acmeist poets — who included her first husband Nikolay Gumilyev, as well as the great poet Osip Mandelstam — strove to move away from the dominant Symbolist aesthetic and work toward higher clarity and precision. Akhmatova’s early lyric poetry found great success, but the Communist years proved very difficult for her. Her famous poems Poem Without a Hero [Poema bez geroia] and Requiem [Rekviem] address the oppressive historical period in which she lived.