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Vera Pavlova English Poetry Translations

Vera Pavlova (1963-) is a leading contemporary Russian poet. Born in Moscow, she is a graduate of the Schnittke College of Music and the Gnessin Academy of Music, where she specialized in music history. Vera has worked as a guide at the Shaliapin Museum in Moscow and has published several essays on music. She began writing poetry at age twenty, after the birth of her first daughter, while she was still at the maternity ward. Vera is the author of twenty collections of poetry, four opera librettos, and the lyrics to two cantatas. Her poetry has appeared in The New Yorker and other major literary publications.



I shattered your heart;
now I limp through the shards
barefoot.
―by Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



I test the tightrope,
balancing a child
in each arm.
―by Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



I test the tightrope,
balanced by a child
in each arm.
―by Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



Winter―a beast.
Spring―a bud.
Summer―a bug.
Autumn―a bird.
Otherwise I'm a woman.
―by Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



The voice.
The handwriting.
The gait.
Maybe the smell of my hair.
That's all.
Go ahead, resurrect me.
―by Vera Pavlova, translation by Stephen Seymour



Immortalize me!
With your bare, warm palm
please sculpt and mold my malleable snow.
Polish me until I glow.
―by Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



And God saw
it was good
And Adam saw
it was excellent
And Eve saw
it was passable
―by Vera Pavlova, translation by Stephen Seymour



Scales:
on the one hand joy;
on the other sorrow.
Sorrow is weightier;
therefore joy
elevates.
―by Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



A muse inspires when she arrives,
a wife when she departs,
a mistress when she’s absent.
Would you like me to manage all that simultaneously?
―by Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



You, my dear, are my shielding stone:
to sing behind, or bash my head on.
―by Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



Remember me as I am this instant: abrupt and absent,
my words fluttering like moths trapped in a curtain.
―by Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



I have been dropped
and fell from such
immense heights
for so long that
perhaps I still
have enough
time to learn
how to
fly.
―by Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

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