If There Is Something to Desire: One Hundred Poems (Paperback)
Brief, solid poems that stick to the bones. In the tradition of understated Slavic poetry—think Szymborska. Here's a poem to read to your fresh squeeze or at a wedding:
Why is the word yes so brief?
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.
Now in paperback, the widely acclaimed collection of one hundred poems of extraordinarily elegant simplicity by one of the best-selling poets in Russia, whose presence on the American poetry scene is increasingly strong. Pavlova writes about love (both sexual love and the love that reaches beyond sex); about motherhood; about the memories of childhood that continue to feed us; about our lives as passionate souls abroad in the world. Sensitively translated by her husband, Steven Seymour, Pavlova's poems are highly disciplined miniatures ("I broke your heart. / Now barefoot I tread / on shards"--a whole poem in ten words). Pavlova is a poet who storms our hearts with pure talent and a seemingly effortless gift for shaping poems.
About the Author
VERA PAVLOVA is the author of fifteen collections of poetry, and the librettos to five operas and four cantatas. Her poems have been translated into twenty-one languages, and she has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Apollon Grigoriev Grand Prize (2001). Her poetry has appeared in several U.S. publications, including The New Yorker and Tin House. If There Is Something to Desire is Pavlova's first collection in English.