The Poetry of Richard Katrovas
August 11, 2005 3 Comments
One of the most enjoyable results of my visit to St. Petersburg a few weeks ago was meeting Richard Katrovas whose poetry I had never read before. At his public reading, which I managed to get to in spite of the hellish vodka hangover that had me in its evil grip, I was taken by how his poetry managed to be simultaneously intensely personal and engaged in the world. It is no easy thing for me to express admiration for a poet, it is a form whose beauty came under such a sustained assault by a variety of teachers that I have not managed to fully rid myself of their narrow pedantry. But Katrovas’ poetry is honest and funny, and has the wisdom that only comes from someone who has lived and been knocked around a little.
Love Poem for an Enemy
I, as sinned against as sinning,
take small pleasure from the winning
of our decades-long guerrilla war.
For from my job I’ve wanted more
than victory over one who’d tried
to punish me before he died,
and now, neither of us dead,
we haunt these halls in constant dread
of drifting past the other’s life
while long-term memory is rife
with slights that sting like paper cuts… (read more of Richard Katrovas)