Every April I subscribe to a Poem-a-Day from Knopf Doubleday. This year they sent a harbigner of  delights ahead in this poem by Nabokov, written in English and first published in 1944. Revel!

The Poem

Not the sunset poem you make when you think
with its linden tree in India ink
and the telegraph wires across its pink

not the mirror in you and her delicate bare
shoulder still glimmering there;
not the lyrical click of a pocket rhyme—
the tiny music that tells the time;

and not the pennies and weights on those
evening papers piled up in the rain;
not the cacodemons of carnal pain;
not the things you can say so much better in plain prose—

but the poem that hurtles from heights unknown
—when you wait for the splash of the stone
deep below, and grope for your pen,
and then comes the shiver, and then—

in the tangle of sounds, the leopards of words,
the leaflike insects, the eye-spotted birds
fuse and form a silent, intense,
mimetic pattern of perfect sense.


I’m in Boston as you read this, visiting our daughter who’s enrolled in Northeastern’s physician assistant program, and also getting to meet the wonderful wizards who make the magic happen at Candlewick. Boston also just happens to be the city where I met my husband 41 (yes) years ago when we were both scraggle-haired hippies. How do I love that city? Let me count…