Thursday, October 7, 2010

Vera Pavlova

Above is the dust jacket for Vera Pavlova's new book from Knopf: If There Is Something To Desire : One Hundred Poems. They are short poems and to me it seems like a brilliant and fresh idea to offer one of the one hundred poems complete and free on the front of the dust jacket in beautiful painted lettering.

Vera Pavlova's picture on the back of the dust jacket finishes off an unusually appealing overall design. Not well known in the U.S., she is one of the best established and most popular poets of the New Russia. Below is one other sample from the book -- in Steven Seymour's sympathetic and authoritative translation (he is the husband of Vera Pavlova).

Old age will come, will arrange books
in alphabetical order, will sort out photos and negatives.
With a head shake: "How meager the heritage of the most gifted."
With a shrug: "Still, they must have done their best."
Wrapping a shawl tighter: "Incredible: any man that comes along
can deserve the title 'darling'!"
With a toothless grin: "how lovely they look now,
the rejected photos never put into albums!"