Today’s selection is by Vera Pavlova, a Russian poet whose signature is the very short poem—in her country, there are thousands of these in print. Her first volume in English, If There is Something to Desire, gives us a hundred poems—a good sampling of her rueful lines on love and passion, childhood and motherhood, the call to poetry, and many other subjects. (Translation from the Russian is by Steven Seymour, Pavlova’s husband.)
“Who will winter my immortality”
Who will winter my immortality
with me? Who will thaw with me?
Come what may, I shall never trade
the earthly love for the subterranean.
I still have time to turn
into flowers, clay, white-eyed memory…
But while we are mortal, my love, to you
nothing will be denied.
Excerpt from IF THERE IS SOMETHING TO DESIRE. Translation copyright © 2010 by Steven Seymour. Excerpted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.