Tuesday, February 3, 2009
44. My mother has made a lot of art over the years, in several forms (painting, etching, woodcuts, pottery...). When I was little she made me a small, pale blue & white wooden bathtub boat, with the name "Sophie" painted in black lettering on the bow. A prized possession. But when Petersburg poet Elena Shvarts visited Providence about 10 years ago, I gave it to her. (Boats are important in Petersburg culture & history.) I liked thinking about it in the window of her apt. It seemed like a symbol of our Russ.-Amer. poetry connection. Then, a few years later, there was a major fire. Her apartment was almost completely burned out. She lost books, manuscripts... her home, temporarily. & little "Sophie" was also consumed in the flames.