I love the sound of Russian names. And words in general in Russian. Can’t speak a word of it. But when I hear it, I love the sound. The sound fascinated Rilke as well. I think he wanted to be Russian, but didn’t really know how to work that. It’s more than interesting to ponder if Tsvetaeva and Rilke had a love child, and if that child grew up to be a poet, merging the sounds of German and Russian, the lyrical beauty of his or her parents.
Akhmatova’s poetry is direct, often startling, original. She lived through tumultuous and dangerous times, to put it mildly. Her poetry reflects those times and that danger. She is sometimes considered under the umbrella of the Acmeists, a Russian artistic movement that started in 1910, roughly. The movement bears some resemblance to Imagism. Famous poets under that umbrella (along with Akhmatova) were Boris Pasternak and Osip Mandelstam.
Will post my own homage to Anna later, in the poetry section.