I’m somewhat anti-Browning. He always spoke in another character, for another character. I do not let anybody else speak a word (in my poetry, it goes without saying). I speak myself and for myself everything that is possible and that which is not. Sometimes I unconsciously recall somebody else’s phrasing and transform it into a line of poetry.
—Anna Akhmatova, “Pseudo-Memoirs,” My Half-Century: Selected Prose (Ardis Publishers, 1992), edited by and translated by Ronald Meyer.