Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0025324, Thu, 17 Apr 2014 18:50:05 +0000

Since poetry is my day job, I try to write one for VN's birthday every year. This year's entry features VN's Karner Blue.

The Sentence

From the pure fog, from the milk

of silence, you have come,

sensibly dressed for the journey,

the train lurching out from the station

even before you find your seat,

the train whose route spans

in a breath the gap between Arcturus

and Albany, where a detour

sends you meandering

through barrens of sand and pine,

now slowing to climb

the bright spike

of a lupine flower, spiraling

up the green stem and purple raceme

till you reach the top,

rolling to a stop where

the bloom meets the sky

and the station master,

a blue Nabokovian butterfly,

unspools before you

in the mid-day sun

the precise evolution of his tongue.

Matt Roth

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