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Anna Akhmatova reading her poems about Isaiah Berlin in Oxford in 1965

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Duration: 0:12:31 | Added: 23 May 2014
This podcast is in Russian. This short recording includes 'Cinque' and other poems inspired by the poet's meetings with Isaiah Berlin.

The celebrated Russian poet Anna Akhmatova came to Oxford at Isaiah Berlin's instigation in June 1965, a year before her death, to receive an honorary DLitt. In this short recording, made at New College, Oxford, during her visit, she reads a number of her poems (in the original Russian). Some of them were inspired by Berlin's visits to her in Leningrad in 1945–6. For IB's recollections of these visits see his 'Meetings with Russian Writers in 1945 and 1956' in his 'Personal Impressions' (3rd edition, 2014, pp. 356-432).

The poems are:

1. 'It is stingy, and rich' (1910s): «И скупо оно и богато ...»
2. 'Another Song' (1956), from 'Sweetbriar in Blossom': «Как сияло, так и пело ...»
3. 'You demand poems from me bluntly ...' (1962), from 'Sweetbriar in Blossom': «Ты стихи мои требуешь прямо ...»
4. From 'Prologue, or Dream within a Dream', from the play 'Enuma Elish' (1960s): Из пьесы «Пролог или Сон во Сне»
5. The complete cycle of five poems, 'Cinque' (1945–6), written immediately after meeting Berlin; Akhmatova wrote no. 2 down for Berlin in a presentation copy of her 'From Six Books' (1940) – see preview image
«Как у облака на краю ...»
«Истлевают звуки в эфире ...»
«Я не любила с давних дней ...»
«Знаешь сам, что не стану славит ...»
«Не дышали мы сонными маками ...»
6. 'We thought: we are beggars ...' (1915): «Думали: нищие мы, нету у нас ничего ...»
7. 'Verses about St Petersburg' (1913):
«Вновь Исакий в облаченье ...»
«Сердце бьется гулко, мерно ...»
8. 'Ah, for you Russian is not enough ...' (1962): «А тебе еще мало по-русски ...»

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