In our discussion, Gabby and I saw a stark difference not between the story told in Requiem but rather how it was told. Anderson’s translation took a very personal and empathetic approach as it told the story from what read as an internally controlled environment. In more poetic terms with more vivid imagery, you read the poem from the perspective of the mother and empathize with her humanity. Anderson’s poem reads more like a novel – descriptive and story-oriented- whereas Thomas’s translation is more historical and analytical. To elaborate, while Thomas tells the same story as Anderson, it reads more as though it is from an outside perspective describing events. One reads the events but is not as drawn to empathize with them. For these reasons, we favored the Anderson translation.
! Poetry was such a well respected and acknowledged art that poems that went against the country could be a motive for murder!
? Why did Akhmatova have a disdain for those that left despite the fact that she was tormented herself? Would she not understand their motive for leaving after this fact?