Russian 380, Theater as Language, invites all to a student-written play based on the life and poetry of an acclaimed 20th-century Russian poet Anna Andreevna Akhmatova at 5 p.m. Friday, May 4, in UUW-324. In Russian with English subtitles. Akhmatova, a poet of the 20th century Russia destined to live through head-spinning fame, rejection, persecution and self-enforced silence, became a symbol of victory of the human spirit. She married another famous poet, Nikolai Gumilev, but overshadowed his talent with her sweeping popularity in the early 1900s. Forced to give away her only son to be raised by his grandmother, she was divorced from Gumilev shortly before he was executed by the Bolsheviks. Her son would pay the ultimate price with an arrest at age 23, followed by 20 years in prisons and camps where Akhmatova stood “300 nights” at the prison wall trying to help him. In 1946, Akhmatova was expelled from the writers’ union, losing her right to write and publish. Her poetry was taken off the shelves and she lived in isolation and poverty. By the time she died in 1966, however, Akhmatova was one of the best-known literary figures in Russia and became an inspiration to a younger generation. Her poetry is loved and admired across Russia to this day for its musicality, classical style and deeply individual sensibility.
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