"A moment later my first poem began…" Vladimir Nabokov

“A moment later my first poem began. What touched it off? I think I know. Without any wind blowing, the sheer weight of a raindrop, shining in parasitic luxury on a cordate leaf, caused its tip to dip, and what looked like a globule of quicksilver performed a sudden glissando down the center vein, and then, having shed its bright load, the relieved leaf unbent. Tip, leaf, dip, relief- the instant it all took to happen seemed to me not so much a fraction of time as a fissure in it, a missed heartbeat, which was refunded at once by a patter of rhymes: I say ‘patter’ intentionally, for when a gust of wind did come, the trees would briskly start to drip all together in as crude an imitation of the recent downpour as the stanza I was already muttering resembled the shock of wonder I had experienced when for a moment heart and leaf had been one.”

~ Vladimir Nabokov “Speak, Memory”
“Everyman’s Library” | Alfred A. Knopf | New York 1999

In this author’s opinion, one of the most beautiful paragraphs ever written to describe that first amazing poetic moment.

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Filed under Nabokov, writers, writing

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