A Compliment to My Poetry

I made a few self-portraits outside my house yesterday, and what you see in this picture is a very long grey scarf that I knitted with mohair yarn back in 1999. It’s over 2 metres long, and I was ahead of fashion at that point: the endless scarves didn’t make it to the top of trends until 2001, in Russia at least.

When I go to public places I don’t always have the chance to place the scarf in the cloackroom. And I can get cold quickly on odd occasions. So I usually drape the scarf around my shoulders – as you see on the photo.

So, why poetry? In January 2003, still in Moscow, I was invited to a gathering of a literary club, and as a newcomer I was expected to do some reading. The majority of people were fans of classical and 20th century Russian poetry, well in their 50s and 60s, so a 20-something girl with the interest in surrealism was an avis rara. Still, I read a few poems, without a mic, got my round of applause…

…and at the end of gathering, when there were only a few people left in the huge cold room, a lady in her 60s approached me and said:

You know, I’m almost deaf so I couldn’t hear what you were reading, but I absolutely loved your shawl, you draped it so nicely!

Believe it or not, I think about her each time I drape this scarf around my shoulders.


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