NABOKV-L post 0027285, Tue, 24 Jan 2017 13:53:47 +0000

Pale Fire and bird tracks
And in the morning, diamonds of frost
Express amazement: Whose spurred feet have crossed From left to right the blank page of the road?
Reading from left to right in winter's code, A dot, an arrow pointing back; repeat:
Dot, arrow pointing back... A pheasant's feet!
Torquated beauty, sublimated grouse,
Finding your China right behind my house.
Was he in Sherlock Holmes, the fellow whose Tracks pointed back when he reversed his shoes?


V.Nabokov - Pale Fire

I spent a few days this Winter in a small town in New England where, to my crystal amazement, I came across a road marked by spurred feet, just like the ones John Shade had described. Later I found out that various flocks of turkeys regularly surrounded the house I was staying in, and that they even flew up to nest on a few tall trees in the distance. No "torquated beauties", though. And yet, the recollection of VN's lines had the familiar effect of reinterpreting the landscape and producing enchantment. Jansy Mello

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