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Nadya Popova

Graduated fromt he Literary Institute in Moscow and at present works as an editor for 'Panorama,' a literary magazine for translations. She is the author of two books of poems, 'The Line of Life,' and 'A New Moon

On upbringing

'Is it possibly that you can't defend yourself? Still you're not just anybody!' (from a private conversation)


You are right as always, master.


(I dare to call you 'master' although the slant


of my handwriting


is opposite to yours).


You are right,


I'm not a random set of molecules.




Yes, I have been proposed


for life on a reservation


where nature is protected (I am a woman—game, respectively).


but what would I do there


if I am not used to interjections?




The other things are not for me-”


like walking on a rope


or training mice and beasts of prey . . .


It raises too much dust,


and the first years of my life


I spent in mountain air.




Both my children still spell out 'life'


and to them the circus is an art,


I don't know what they think of courage:


to crack a whip or to jump through hoops of fire.


Experience will soon teach them


not to catch a knife by the blade.




Well, people are there


to teach them manners:


The fork is on the left, the knife is on the right.


But their mother is left-handed


and always does the opposite.