Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Kenia's Wednesday Challenge

A beast in winter,
a plant in spring,
an insect in summer,
a bird in autumn.
The rest of the time I am a woman.

I like it that English allows me to get to know the works of many wonderful poets and writers worldwide I would be unable to read in their original languages. Including this great woman's I bring you today: Vera Pavlova.

A tentative bio:
caught fireflies,
read till dawn,
fell in love with weirdos,
cried buckets of tears
for reasons unknown,
birthed two daughters
by seven men.

Born in Moscow in 1963, she's another literary genius alive, a genius with a musical soul. She graduated from a renowned academy, specializing in the history of music. She started writing poetry when she was 20 and she was first published when she was 24 years old. So far she has written 15 poetry books, just one of them has been translated to English: If there is something to desire, I got mine from Amazon.

Writing down verses, I got
a paper-cut on my palm.
The cut extended my life line
by nearly one fourth.

I broke your heart.
Now barefoot I tread
on shards.

What I like most about Vera is that she writes with such delicacy and powerful imagery about being a woman, about women's issues and feelings, and lives.  

Another poet came into being
when I saw the life of life,
the death of death:
the child I had birthed.
That was my beginning:
blood burning the groin,
the soul soaring, the baby wailing
in the arms of a nurse. 

Besides books, she has also experimented with non-traditional ways of disseminating her poetry, such as SMS-messaging, postcards, video clips, and audio books. One of her poems was selected by the Poetry in Motion program and was displayed as a poster in subway cars in New York City and in Los Angeles buses; it was also issued as a bookmark by the Poetry Society of America. Isn't it wonderful?!

Let us touch each other
while we still have hands,
palms, forearms, elbows . . .
Let us love each other for misery,
torture each other, torment,
disfigure, maim,
to remember better,
to part with less pain.

Here's a video of Vera at Wellesley College discussing poetry and being adorable, together with her husband Steven Seymour, who happens to be her translator. 


Today's challenge may sound a bit crazy but I hope you can still find it enjoyable. I like the idea of poetry that moves, instead of sitting on shelves inside books. What I ask of you is  to write a poem to the world. You can address it to mankind, or to a more specific subject: your children, your parents, a neighbor that is kind toward you or another one who's unpleasant; a workmate, a boyfriend/girlfriend you lost touch with, a passerby, the woman who works in the shop around the corner. 

Write it as a message you'd like this someone to get and then think of a way to get it through. You can write it on your walls, or hang it on the fridge, you can make it a postcard and send it to that someone (I'd love to get that!), text it to a friend, take a photograph holding it, cross-stitch it (Awn! Can't explain how much I'd like to see that!), chalk it on your sidewalk, staple it to a tree, write it on the sand at the beach or simply write it on a small piece of paper and hand it to the addressee. Oh, please, do take pictures of whatever you decide to make!

Don't forget to link back to this Garden. Happy writing my dear ones!


Susan said...

I love the bits here by Vera Pavlova, especially the first one! You have sold me her book. And I love this prompt which makes me get up and move! It will take awhile to plan a poem that gives more specifically and purposefully than usual--as if it were an event. Good.

Bubba said...

I'd composed "Alphabet To Save The World" with just that sort of idea in mind. (Unfortunately I don't have my camera handy, so I'll have to get back to you on the photo) In the meantime, I hope everyone who reads it will take something away from it.

Mystic_Mom said...

I don't cross stitch but I will do something for this! What a cool totally cool challenge!

Fireblossom said...

I don't think I need to actually send it. She'll see it.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Kenia asked for a postcard; seems the least I could do to make her smile today. It will be in the post tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

A wonderful prompt, Kenia, and thanks for introducing Pavlova's work here - a poet after my own heart.

Kay L. Davies said...

What a fascinating challenge, Kenia. I'm not sure I can chalk something on a sidewalk or write something in the sand, but it sounds like fun.

Susie Clevenger said...

This is a beautiful challenge. I can't wait to see how it turns out!!

Marian said...

fun! thank you, kenia. kiss on your cheek <3

Peggy said...

I enjoyed the info about Pavlova. I was not familiar with her work. Also a fun challenge that I will think about and get back here to post (I hope--unless my must totally leaves me).

shawnacy said...

oh, i love her words.
and what an awesome challenge. sherry mentioned that the poem i wrote this week (for two kickass friends) would fit perfectly. i'll link it now, and work on the creative-sending aspect to be posted later.
thanks, kenia!

Daydreamertoo said...

An interesting read. Thank you for the prompt Kenia. I had a conversation with a happy field mouse, or hamster, not too sure what it is but, it sure does look happy :)

Susan said...

Soooo. I haven't done the leg work for this challenge yet. I am actually pretty excited about it. I am printing my new poem to post in my house's foyer where it can be read by the first floor tenant (a BFF) and by guests. I am actually expecting a few and now I have to go and buy foods and clean the house and launder sheets and clean some cat smell, etc. But it will be good to see them.

Susie Clevenger said...

I love this...this is my first attempt. I like the idea so much I am sure there will be more.

Susie Clevenger said...

Hey, this actually inspired two postings...:)

Helen said...

Thank you for introducing me to this amazing woman, this incredibly talented poet.

Jyothi Nair said...

I have put up a post that I think meets the challenge guidelines. :)

Off to read the other entries now. :)

You have a wonderful place here. Very welcoming indeed. :)

Sreeja said...

Wonderful and inspiring...

Kenia Santos said...

I'm still working on my entries. I'll post them soon. By now, I'd like to thank everyone who participated, I started visiting your places and seriously, you are amazing.

Susan, I'm sure your poem will have great impact in your friends' lives. <3

Susie, I'm so glad you felt inspired to write not just one but two entries for the challenge. <3

Kiss you all, guys. <3

Kerry O'Connor said...

@Jyothi I visited your site and read your beautiful poem but could not leave a message there without creating an account. Thank you for visiting Skylover, and for your participation on RT.

Laurie Kolp said...

Thanks for inspiring me to draw, Kenia... (don't laugh to hard).

Lolamouse said...

Working on it now. Going to post it on cars in my neighborhood!

Kerry O'Connor said...

Good for you, LM.. only saw this comment after I read your poem :)

Mary said...

I am sorry I am so late with contributing to this prompt. It was an interesting one, Kenia. Thank you.

Mary said...

Jyoti, I couldn't figure out how to comment on your poem either. I wish I could comment using either Blogger or Word Press, but there doesn't seem to be a way.

Hannah said...

Oh, I have been away from the computer all day but I hope I can catch up to read this properly and write tomorrow. Thank you, Kenia!!

Kerry O'Connor said...

There have been some wonderful responses to this prompt. Thank you, Kenia.

Victoria said...

Thank you Kenia for sharing the poetry I would never have seen otherwise and by presenting the idea of "poetry that moves". I was simple htis time, just using Facebook, but I want to experiment with more inoovative ways of sharing.

Hannah said...

Hello everyone!! I'm sorry I'm so late...I look forward to seeing what everyone has done with this! Smiles!

Ella said...

Thank you Kenia, I enjoyed this prompt! Sorry, I am late, too...
Happy Friday/weekend to everyone :D