my tragic right hip

Busting out bad joints all over the place

December 16th, 2011

#87 – Akhmatova

Yes, I am very behind. I have read seven different books in the last little while that need to be written about, I will be getting caught up over the next week or so because as of today at 5 PM, I am on vacation until January 3rd.

RRHB: “At least you can get some rest.”

And I laughed, what does that actually mean? Rushing around for the holidays, cooking like mad, scrambling to see loved ones of all shapes and sizes? Probably. But do you know what it also means? Naps.

I miss naps.

And then I read Akhmatova’s poetry over the last week on my commute to and from work. Her writing is simple yet powerful, serene yet complex, and utterly, completely captivating.

My favourite of all of the poems in this little volume is a fragment that goes like this:


But I warn you,
I am living for the last time.
Not as a swallow, not as a maple
Not a as a reed nor as a star,
Not as water from a spring,
Not as bells in a tower —
Shall I return to trouble you
Nor visit other people’s dreams
With lamentation.


She lived through prison camp, through bad marriages, through hard Russian winters, through so much hardship, and she managed to still turn words into beautiful things for me to admire. It’s joyous, the wonderful, spirited, heightened magic that is the power of language, isn’t it?


One Response to “#87 – Akhmatova”

  • Melwyk says:

    I love her work. So glad that you are appreciating it as well! Yes, her power to create words of beauty in the midst of her very hard life is astonishing. When I was in Kyiv I saw an exhibit at a tiny museum all about Akhmatova — it included her death mask. I got the creeps!

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Girl with titanium hip will rock. Girl with titanium hip will write. Girl with titanium hip will read. Girl with titanium hip will battle crazy-ass disease called Wegener's Granulomatosis. Now stuff that in your spelling bee!

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