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About Poetry
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About  Poetry,

its ambiguous role

and sophisticated way of development,

not always appreciated by editors and readers;


about the universe

that has been created exactly in the same way

as a poetic work

some thoughts and speculations

written in different times

by the same modest



    The Artist is the creator of beautiful things.

    Art is quite useless.

                                    -Oscar Wilde

The picture of Dorian Gray



(note 3)

In six days God created the world,

Six times He appreciated His own creation,

As if He had a general idea while pronouncing His Word

But wasn't sure how it would look in three dimensions.


If He were a poet, a nameless young guy

Naively seeking a literary agent

And hopelessly researching a literary guide,

What kind of criticism he'd receive--

                                                one can only imagine.


Indeed, "Where's the logic?" the editor would say,

Rejecting the manuscript, "You first created light

And then the celestial bodies--only on the fourth day!"

And he would be absolutely right.


Thank God,

                        God wasn't obliged to participate in such a battle:

He managed to establish on time certain connections.

So they finally accepted for the Bible

His golden collection.



(note 5)

What is in common between God's and the artist's creation

That both are against any programmed linkage

Between final and initial steps.

                                    This turns on their imagination

And makes unexpected any upcoming image.


They both start from a complete mess,

Both create the unique, not the rules,

Both are constantly changing in many ways

And are not familiar to the stable Truth.


All the diversity descended from light,

Hatched out like artistic details

                                                evolving a predisposition.

Both God and the artist elaborate this technique to apply it,

And this is their only goal and their only mission.




            (note 9)

Scientists keep their universe in complete order.

Their logic's just as a train that drives one

                                                from station to station.

The artist creates his kingdom on water,

And one must build linkages,

                                    using his imagination.


The state of artists is based on subjectivity,

Consolidated in the first paragraph

                                                of its constitution,

That defends all kinds of useless creativity

From common sense, like air from pollution.



(note 21)


If you are born to win the admiration of thousands and thousands

(As you concluded when you rhymed your first lines),

You must be told that you are not Barbara Streisand

And that the hall will be empty all the time.


You'll enjoy, though considerably later,

A small space with your devoted chair,

The acoustics in your silent theater

And the sense of "no one near."


Daily life takes over every one in this world.

Even God couldn't avoid it:

He started as a poet but in getting old

He felt like eating everyday—something homemade.

The creation of Eden cost God a fortune,

And it must be a good lesson

For poets who're still carelessly searching

For a delicatessen.


If you wear nimbus, don't crave the crown,

Don't strive to be popular

                        like turkey on Thanksgiving Day.

Always give your preferences to the noun

Through which the first thought of the world was conveyed.


SEASHELL  (translated from the Russian by Esther Cameron)


Upon my palm you fade and fade,

Extinguish your mother-of-pearl,

The way the soul is scattered

Only to condense again

In the sky

Like the meditation of a grownup

Or the daydream of a child.

With my fingers I scan you,

take possession of you,

of the structure and contour

that divide you from the Creator.

Thus I have taken possession

of a beloved face,

but never -- never once! -- of its features.

The nacreous gleam is waning.

To me -- what is mine.  What is immortal -- to the sea.

Why must you leave me!

Why do you make me watch

As the essence of action

distorts itself, and you darken --

You are no longer a seashell,

But just an empty casing.

I seem to have taken you

To bring out the hidden death