Vladimir Nabokov’s Superman poem published for the first time

Alison Flood in The Guardian:

A lost poem by Vladimir Nabokov, written from the perspective of Superman as he laments the impossibility of having children with Lois Lane, has been published for the first time.

The Man of To-morrow’s Lament appears in this week’s Times Literary Supplement. In it, Nabokov, whose son loved the Superman comics, writes in the voice of the Man of Steel. He imagines the hero walking through a city park with Lois, forced to wear his glasses because “otherwise, / when I caress her with my super-eyes, / her lungs and liver are too plainly seen / throbbing”.

Nabokov’s Superman goes on to mourn how although he is in love, “marriage would be murder on my part” because his euphemistic “blast of love” could kill his would-be wife. Even if her “fragile frame” survived, he ponders, “What monstrous babe, knocking the surgeon down, / would waddle out into the awestruck town?”

More here.