Anna Akhmatova, great poet
Anna Gorenko better known as Anna Akhmatova (11 (23) June 1889, Odessa, Russian Empire – March 5, 1966, Domodedovo, Moscow, RSFSR, USSR) was one of the greatest Russian poets of the XX century, writer, literary critic and translator.
Akhmatova was born near the Black Sea port of Odessa. Her family moved to Tsarskoye Selo, near St. Petersburg when she was eleven months old.
Anna studied at the Mariinsky High School, moving to Kiev (1906–10) and finished her schooling there, after her parents separated in 1905. She studied law at Kiev University, but in a year moved to St Petersburg to study literature.
Akhmatova started writing poetry at the age of 11, and published in her late teens.
The fate of the poet was tragic. Although she was not in jail or exile, those who were close to her died in the aftermath of the revolution. Akhmatova’s first husband, Nikolai Gumilev was executed by the Soviet secret police, and her son Lev Gumilev (he had been imprisoned for more than 10 years) and her third husband Nikolay Punin spent many years in the Gulag, where Punin died in 1953.
Her feelings and emotions are sensed in her tragic masterpiece about the Stalinist terror “Requiem” (1935–40).
She met the young poet, Nikolay Gumilev on Christmas Eve 1903 and married him in Kiev in April 1910. The couple honeymooned in Paris, and there she met and befriended the Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani.
Later she returned to visit Modigliani in Paris, where he created at least 20 paintings of her, including several nudes. Then she began an affair with the poet Osip Mandelstam (he was married).
To tell the truth Anna Akhmatova had a long list of lovers: Georgiy Chulkov, Nikolai Nedobrovo, Boris Anrep, Nikolai Punin, Vladimir Garshin, Arthur Lourie, Zubov, Boris Pilnyak, Mikhail Zienkiewicz …
In 2009 was published a book by Alla Marchenko “Akhmatova: life”, where you can find “list of men with whom she was close” (page 142).
According to literary scholars Natalia and Vladimir Vin Akhmatova had a secret affair with the last Emperor of Russia Nicholas II (Nikolay Alexandrovich Romanov).