Only allowed to translate

AKHMATOVA, Anna (translator)

Koreiskaia klassicheskaia poeziia

[Korean Classical Poetry. Translated by Anna Akhmatova]

Publication: Gos. izdat. Khudozh. literatury, Moskva, 1958.

AKHMATOVA, Anna (translator), Koreiskaia klassicheskaia poeziia

A fine association copy of this touching work of one of the greatest Russian poets of the 20th century, then only allowed to do translation work. Inscirbed by Akhmatova to her fellow translator.

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Our Notes & References

A presentation copy of the first expanded edition, inscribed by Akhmatova to her editor and co-translator, the linguist Aleksandr Kholodovich: ‘As a memento of that time when we worked on this book. Amicably, Akhmatova, 15 January 1959’.

This edition adds 37 poems to the edition issued in 1956. Akhmatova worked on all 212 poems in this collection: Kholodovich prepared a preliminary translation, which Akhmatova then translated into appropriate verses. The demand for such a niche subject, prompting an expanded edition so soon after the first, may reflect general interest in Korea following the war on the peninsula; but more likely reflects the enduring demand for any work by Akhmatova, after she had been silenced for so long. With Stalin’s death in 1953, the grip of totalitarianism loosened somewhat, and Akhmatova began to be given paid translation work.


Anna Akhmatova (presentation inscription in blue ink to:); Aleksandr Alekseevich Kholodovich (1906-1977, linguist); Robert Eden Martin (b. 1940; American lawyer and noted collector of Russian, British and American literature works).


Martin, ‘Collecting Akhmatova’, in Caxtonian, vol. XV, no.4, April 2007, p.12.

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Physical Description

16mo (16.6 x 10.5 cm). Title ornament and head- and tailpieces printed in pale green.


Original pictorial blue cloth, stamped with a Korean-style bird and branch ornament, pale green endpapers printed in black, title stamped in gold on the front cover and spine.


Light rubbing to the extremities; small faint dampstain in the bottom margin of the first few leaves.

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