Vladimir Nabokov: not prose


Vladimir. And a hat.

Vladimir and a hat.




For his father’s death


I see a radiant cloud, I see a rooftop glisten

like a mirror, far away . . . I listen

to breathing shade, light’s stillicide . . .

You’re absent – why? You’re dead, and on a day

the humid world is bluish. God’s sacred spring is on her way,

swelling, calling . . . And you’ve died.


And yet, if every stream anew the wonder sings,

and yet, if every falling golden thaw-drop rings –

if these are not bedazzling lies,

but quivering, dulcet convocations: ‘Rise again’ –

a mighty ‘Blossom!’, then you are in this refrain,

you’re in this splendor, you’re alive! . . .



From Vladimir Nabokov: collected poems, newly translated by Dmitri Nabokov, edited with a new Introduction by Thomas Karshan. Published by Penguin Classics, London & New York.





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