Poem: Am I lovely? Of course!

 A poem by Vera Pavlova

(translated by Steven Seymour)

Am I lovely? Of course!
Breathlessly I taste
the subtle compliment
of a handmade caress.
Chop me into tiny bits,
caress and tame my soul,
that godly swallow
you love to no end.
Vera wrote,
“poetry is like earthworms, thought is like cud,
and understanding is like insanity”

My thoughts are everywhere today.
In 7th grade science class our teacher took a block of wood and placed it on the front table.  He then told us, “Everything is made up of molecules.  Everything. The only reason why the molecules of this block do not merge with the molecules of the desk is because they are moving super slow.”  He went on to say that if two objects touch long enough, they would merge.  It may take a million years, but they will merge.

Chemistry is the branch of science that studies matter that interacts quickly with other matter, and changes two substances, that form new substances.  Chemicals move faster than a block of wood set upon a teacher’s desk.

I must consider the bonding of people, substances, the substance of humans, parts that move slow and others fast, blood and water, our solid bones and muscles, and the abstract of thoughts and dreams.

Does a relationship make it to the level of atom?

To learn more about Vera, go to her website:

Vera Pavlova

“The ovaries of a newborn girl contain up to 400,000 egg cells.” All my poems are already in me.”  ~Vera Pavlova

About three months ago a friend gave me a copy of the Poetry Foundation’s magazine “Poetry”.  The magazine was founded in 1912 by Harriet Monroe.  Although it’s been around for a hundred years it’s new to me.  It is a delightful read and take-a-long for short trips or morning rituals.  Needless to say I am enjoying it thoroughly!  Please check it out. http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/

In the April 2012 volume I found a little treasure.  Laid out on the last few pages was a wonderful section of quotes by Vera Pavlova.  Vera was “born in 1963, in Moscow (Russia). She is a graduate of the Schnittke College of Music and the Gnessin Academy of Music, where she specialized in history of music and wrote herdissertation on the chamber vocalcycles of Shostakovich.

She began writing poetry at the age of twenty, after the birth of her first daughter, while she was still at the maternity ward. She first published her poems at the age of twenty-four, in the literary monthly “Yunost’” (“Youth”). Pavlova became a celebrity after no fewer than seventy-two poems of hers were published in a two-page centerfold of the “Segodnia” (“Today”) daily, a unique event in the annals of Russian literature, giving rise to the rumor that she was a literary hoax. Since then, her works have appeared in many newspapers and in most of the major magazines in Russia.”  What an inspiring woman!

Below are some of my favorite quotes by Vera. 
They are exalting to the spirit! 
Hope you enjoy them:

The cud of thinking: by the evening my jaw aches.

Pick a piece of wood floating in the river and follow it down the current with your glance, keeping the eyes constantly on it, without getting ahead of the current.  This is the way poetry should be read: at the pace of a line.

How do I feel about people who do not understand my poetry?  I understand them.

Being well-known means knowing almost nothing as to who knows you and what they might know about you.

Went to bed with an unfinished poem in my mouth and could not kiss.

Drafts in my notebook are written in the barely legible scribble; fair copies are in impeccable calligraphy.  My handwriting is much better than my Muse’s.

Tolstoy:  “Man should live as if a beloved child were dying in a room next door.”  As for me, I live as if that child were dying in my womb.

By giving books as presents, I mark my territory.

I live my life moving forward on rails that I lay myself.  Where do I get the rails?  I dismantle the ones I have gone over.

I write about what I love.  I love writing even more than what I write about.  And what do I do it for?  to love myself, if only for a brief while.

When a true poet dies, we realize that all his poems were about death.

Reader: Yevtushenko claims that in Russia a poet is something more than just a poet.  Is that true?
Poet: No, nothing can be more than a poet.