Wednesday, June 16, 2010

If There is Something to Desire by Vera Pavlova

I first found out about Vera Pavlova's poetry because I went to a poetry event in Cambridge and didn't know anything about the poet. She recited her poems in Russian and her husband translated the poems into English for the audience. It was so nice to hear her read them in the poems' native language, and the two of them had great chemistry and it was a great reading.

Pavlova's poems are short. I read the whole book of 100 poems in one sitting. Sometimes they are simple, but they are always thought-provoking, and moving. The poems are vivacious. I do feel like I am missing something by reading them without Pavlova here, but it isn't because the poems are not complete, it is just because hearing her read added so much to them.

This is the only book that was translated to English. I hope the book does well so they will translate more of them. I'd love to read more. I also look forward to her reading in the area again--I will definitely go see her.

Almost none of Pavlova's poems have titles. Her poems are so short, a title may be as long as some of the poems. I feel like a poet misses something important when they leave off a title.

My parents were virgins

I broke your heart. It is at the top of the page, just one line, after it says "translated by Steven Seymour".

Only she who has breast fed

Multiplying in a column M by F

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