Our Notes & References
Akhmatova writes with a list of her recent publications, and about the forthcoming ‘Poem Without A Hero’, which would be the first publication of part of her masterpiece within Russia; in 1960-61 sections had already appeared in the New York émigré periodical ‘Vozdushnye puti’.
Akhmatova found it considerably easier to publish new work after Khrushchev’s denunciation of Stalin at the 1961 Congress of the Communist Party. In this letter the Russian poetess primarily lists poems published since the appearance of ‘Stikhotvoreniia’ (Moscow, 1961), including: ‘Smert Sofokla’, ‘Nochnye videniia’, ‘Konets Demona’, ‘Vot ona, plodonosnaia osen’, and various others. In each case she provides the name of the periodical and the issue number in which the poem appeared. But Akhmatova continues: “In the Moscow and Leningrad ‘Dniakh poezii’, extracts of my “Poem Without A Hero” will be published, and new poems will appear in the January issues of ‘Novogo mira’ and ‘Znameni'” (our translation). Akhmatova closes her letter with a kind word for Tarasov, whom she would meet 5 days later: “I was touched by your letter and your dedication to my poetry” (our translation) Tarasov would later publish his memories of this meeting and their discussions.
Boris Aleksandrovich Tarasov (1914-1985) was a Moscow poetry enthusiast, poet and librarian. After WW2 though, he mostly worked in an engineering office, but maintained correspondence with Akhmatova, Tsvetaeva and Ariadna Efron.
Robert Eden Martin (b. 1940; American lawyer and noted collector of Russian, British and American literature works).