On Poetry

The White Skirt

Poetry: The mysteries of the irrational as perceived through rational words. True poetry of that kind provokes – not laughter and not tears – but a radiant smile of perfect satisfaction, a purr of beatitude – and a writer may well be proud of himself if he can make his readers, or more exactly some of his readers, smile and purr that way.

Vladimir Nabokov
Nikolai Gogol (1944)

Painting by Balthus: The White Skirt (1937)


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