April 9th, 2010

rubber pool balls

April 9: Vera Pavlova’s “A Remedy for Insomnia”

If you're feeling patient enough today to wait for livejournal pages to load (rumor is they aim to spiff up the server situation by the beginning of next week), here's today's poem of the day from Knopf (their April-is-poetry-month observance):

A Remedy for Insomnia

Not sheep coming down the hills,
not cracks on the ceiling---
count the ones you loved,
the former tenants of dreams
who would keep you awake,
once meant the world to you,
rocked you in their arms,
those who loved you . . .
You will fall asleep, by dawn, in tears.

-- Vera Pavlova

It's from this Vera's first book of poems in English. Here's another of her distillations for you (this one translated from the Russian by her husband, Steven Seymour):

Let us touch each other
while we still have hands,
palms, forearms, elbows . . .
Let us love each other for misery,
torture each other, torment,
disfigure, maim,
to remember better,
to part with less pain.

And this is a shortie she features on her webpage:

I broke your heart.
Now barefoot I tread
on shards.