Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Vera Pavlova

I love poetry, but seem to have trouble finding contemporary, living poets to read.  I suppose I have trouble finding current music, books, films, those things in general.  It's not that I think the present has nothing to offer us, that only classics offer substance and entertainment.  I think I'm just generally too unplugged.  When I was commuting to D.C. and listening to NPR to and from work, I had a little more exposure.  It takes more of an earnest effort effort now to seek things out.

I came across Vera Pavlova fairly recently.  She was born in Moscow, studied the history of music, and wrote her first poem when she was twenty years old, while she was still in the maternity ward after the birth of her daughter.  I know very little about her history, mostly what I read here.  I first became interested in her not through reading her poems, but some of her quotes about poetry.  Here are just a few from Heaven is Not Verbose: A Notebook published in Poetry Magazine.  You can find them all at the Poetry Foundation's website.


There are moments when I feel the universe expand.


Poetry should be written the way adultery is committed: on the run, on the sly, during time not accounted for. And then you come home; as if nothing ever happened.


Time is like a diatonic scale: it consists of major and minor seconds.


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


"The ovaries of a newborn girl contain up to 400,00 egg cells."  All my poems are already in me.


Madness is inspiration idling in neutral


The longer the poem, the weaker the impression that is has been dictated from above: Heaven is not verbose.  Besides, the more you talk, the more you lie.

11 comments:

  1. Very interesting and enjoyable post.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love this quote: 'Poetry should be written the way adultery is committed: on the run, on the sly, during the time not accounted for. And then you come home, as if nothing ever happened.'

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh, that is a good one. I've found modern poets through The Writer's Almanac. Poetry foundation is also good. I like Mary Oliver and Linda Pastan.

    Play off the Page

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used to listen to Writer's Almanac every morning on my way in to work. I should bookmark the page and check it out everyday.

      Delete
  4. I love the last one. I think there's a lot of truth in it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. These are some interesting quotes. There are too moments when I feel the universe expand, like when I have an idea for a story--that was a nice way of putting it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The line about how poetry should be written on the run like adultery is definitely a fresh, quirky way of comparing.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Very unique way to look at poetry and very apt!
    Lovely post~

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow--indeed, she sounds like someone worth getting to know. I loved the "adultery" comparison: "and then you come home, like nothing happened", haha--brilliant!

    I love poetry, too, and like you I'm also out of touch so that I'm stuck with the classics (Neruda is my favorite, if I had to choose). But I recently discovered someone I'd never heard of: Yehuda Amichai, an Israeli poet. If you know him already, congratulations. If you don't, maybe you'd like him, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love Neruda as well. I will check out Yehuda Amichai. Thanks.

      Delete
  9. These are great! I like the one about madness.

    ReplyDelete