In The Man of To-morrow’s Lament, rejected by the New Yorker in 1942, the Lolita author imagines the superhero mourning his inability to have children with Lois Lane

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”.

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