Only she who has breast-fed

By Vera Pavlova Vera Pavlova

Translated By Steven Seymour

Only she who has breast-fed
knows how beautiful the ear is.
Only they who have been breast-fed
know the beauty of the clavicle.
Only to humans the Creator
has given the earlobe.
The humans, through clavicles
slightly resembling birds,
entwined in caresses fly
to the place at night where,
rocking the cradle of cradles,
the babe is wailing,
where on a pillow of air
the stars nestle like toys.
And some of them speak.

Source: Poetry (January 2010).

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This poem originally appeared in the January 2010 issue of Poetry magazine

January 2010
 Vera  Pavlova

Biography

Vera Pavlova was born in Moscow. She graduated from the Gnessin Academy, specializing in the history of music, and is the author of fourteen collections of poetry, four opera librettos, and lyrics to two cantatas. Her works have been translated into eighteen languages. The poems in this issue are from her first collection in English, If There Is Something to Desire, published this month by Alfred A. Knopf.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Parenthood, Nature, The Body

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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