Way of All the Earth

AKHMATOVA, Anna. Way of All the Earth.

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AKHMATOVA, Anna Way of All the Earth London, Secker and Warburg 1979

8vo; original brown cloth, lettered in gilt spine, in the publisher's dust jacket (price clipped, overlaid publisher's price sticker), pp.[8], 9-95, [1], fine in very good dust jacket, slight abrasion to upper panel, slightly rubbed to edges, otherwise very good.
First edition; inscription in front endpaper from the books translator D.M Thomas to Peter Jolliffe, the Antiquarian bookseller and poet, accompanied by an enveloped letter from Thomas to Jolliffee expressing friendship and graditude.
One of Russia's most heralded poets, Akhmatova wrote her long narrative poem Rekviem between 1935 and 1940 during a period of imposed silence under Stalin's rule. The poem was committed to memory, line by line, to her closest friends. Once memorised, Akhmatova would then burn her verses in an ashtray to avoid punishment. Thomas' translation includes poems previously unavaliable in English, making her legacy ever more loud and pressing, with it's passion for the Russian poetic tradition, a devotion which she maintained throughout her lifetime.