MOSCOW: Svetlana was walking down Arbat dressed in black and carrying a single red rose. She said she was a poet and had just finished a 3-hour walk with a friend, who had given her the rose ahead of the official celebration of Woman’s Day.
Svetlana said she now writes poems about Moscow and started to mention various poets she admired, none of whom I recognized. She then asked if she could recite for me a French poem. When I said I didn’t know French, she said she would recite the Russian version of it. It may have been 8 or 10 lines long and it was about nature and waterfalls.
I asked if she spends a lot of her time reading poetry. “Poetry isn’t meant to be read, it is meant to be listened to,” she said and then hurried off to meet someone.