Poetry Month 2016: Anna Akhmatova
The Muse When in the night I await her coming, My life seems stopped. I ask myself: What Are tributes, freedom, or youth compared To this treasured friend holding a flute? Look, she’s coming! She throws off her veil And watches me, steady and long. I say: “Was it you who dictated to Dante the pages Of Hell?” And she answers: “I am the one.” [From A Stanley Burnshaw Reader, translated by Stanley Burnshaw] ~ From the publisher’s Web site: A Stanley Burnshaw Reader brings together selections from the major works of poetry and prose that have distinguished Burnshaw as one of the most important voices in twentieth-century letters. Included are essays from Burnshaw’s two pioneering critical works: The Seamless Web, praised by the New York Times Book Review as “a defense of poetry that removes it from the realm of man’s spiritual luxuries and places it preeminently among his instruments of survival”; and The Poem Itself, a book that deals with forty-five poets of the last century in an entirely novel way which, as Lionel Trilling observed, “allows the English-speaking reader an unprecedented intimacy with poems in the original tongues.” Along with a generous excerpt from Robert Frost Himself, this volume offers a representative selection of Burnshaw’s poetry and his translations of other poets’ work.