As the terrible events mounted in Russia and the suffering of her people grew, Akhmatova’s voice became stronger and more committed to the weakest victims. She lived through the fall of the empire, the October Revolution and two world wars. Akhmatova endured the terror of Stalin and the persecution of her writer-friends who belonged to The Silver Age: Mandelstam died on route to the Gulag, Tsvetaeva hanged herself and Pasternak was persecuted till his death. Akhmatova was officially silenced in 1924, and did not publish again until 1940.
“An entire generation has passed through me as if through a shadow,” she wrote. Despite her poverty and delicate health, Akhmatova’s generosity and solidarity with her family and friends remained a part of her character.