Vera Pavlova is a Russian poet whose work is translated by her husband, Steven Seymour. (As a side note, my Russian friends inform me that Americans always stress the wrong syllable in Russian names...it isn't Pav-LO-va, but PAV-lo-va...maybe someday I'll get it right on the first go round.) It's refreshing to experience a view of life from a different culture. The only downside to having a favorite poet who writes in a foreign language is that I am unable to enjoy all that she has written. If There is Something to Desire is her first full-length volume to be published in English, and I'm crossing my fingers (and hoping) that it won't be the last.
Praised for her succinct directness, I find that her little thoughts are often a combination of heartbreak and whimsy.
Why is the word yes so brief?Somehow she manages to encapsulate so much in so few words, making this volume of 100 small poems highly re-readable. There were only a handful that really grabbed me at the time of reading, but I have a feeling that I will gain new favorites through the years. This is a volume that will stay on my shelf only to be pulled down again and again--I love the way she looks at the world.
It should be
so that you could not decide in an instant to say it,
so that upon reflection you could stop
in the middle of saying it.
Basked in the sun,Pavlova's poems are easy to appreciate (some more than others) and worth checking out. I think my favorite of the collection--because I'm a goof and this just tickles my fancy--is this brief statement:
listened to birds,
licked off raindrops,
and only in flight
the leaf saw the tree
what it had been.
I have brushed my teeth.This is poetry I can love. A little humor, and somehow a lot of back-story--it sets my imagination rolling! Light and dark, quick yet lasting. What do you think of these three poems? How do they compare to other poetry you may be familiar with? As always, I'm open to recommendations! This volume gives me hope of finding other favorites out there...this journey into poetry is becoming much more exciting.
This day and I are even.
Title: If There is Something to Desire
Author: Vera Pavlova
Published: 2010 Knopf
My Rating: 4.5 stars