Anna Akhmatova, a Soviet Union era Russian poet, secretly wrote Requiem from 1935 to 1961 to document people’s suffering during the Great Purge, where countless people were imprisoned and killed. For an assignment, my group had to read two different translations of Requiem and discuss the merits of each.
My group agreed that we liked the Anderson translation of Requiem better, for a variety of reasons. My group members said that they found the Anderson translation more modern and easy to understand, which allowed them to appreciate the poetry itself better; they weren’t as confused by obscure words, and the subject of each line was clearer. Personally, I preferred the Anderson translation as well. I thought that it did a better job of invoking more nuanced emotions, and did better with the “show don’t tell” philosophy. I can’t help but wonder which is the more “accurate” translation.