by David W. Landrum

When I wait, at night, for her to come,
life, it seems, hangs by a strand.

----Anna Akhmatova, "The Muse"

Her marriages unhappy, government
condemning her and calling her a whore,
banning her books, consumed by whole days spent
standing in ration lines or at the door
of a party office where she would implore
release for friends and family sent away
to gulag prison camps (they would ignore
the pleading she would come with day by day).
They did not like her poems or the nude
sketches Modigliani made of her.
They burned her books. She scraped for love and food.
Whatever wrath her poetry incurred,
she stood against the boorish, asinine,
dim bureaucrats who toed the party line.
They died. Their empire fell, her poems remain,
sketches of naked truth and art’s disdain
for any system or bureaucracy
that would restrict a poem or nudity.

© 2007 by David W. Landrum






About the Author

David W. Landrum is Professor of Humanities at Cornerstone University in Western Michigan . His poetry has appeared in numerous journals and magazines, including The Formalist, The New Formalist, The Barefoot Muse, Web Del Sol, and many others. His articles and fiction have appeared in Twentieth-Century Literature, Philological Quarterly, Amarillo Bay, Loch Raven Review. His chapbook, Identities, is available at: http://www.formalpoetry.com/ ebooks/landrum.html.

He is also the editor of a new online journal, Lucid Rhythms.



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