Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0025338, Thu, 24 Apr 2014 10:53:46 -0700

Dear Matt,

Does the "milk of silence" from which the butterfly has come refer to milkweek?

Loved it - keep your day job - definitely!


From: "Roth, Matthew" <mroth@MESSIAH.EDU>
Sent: Thursday, April 17, 2014 11:50 AM
Subject: [NABOKV-L] BIRTHDAY poem

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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