In Poetry on January 27, 2012 at 11:56 pm

Yesterday I hung the laundry,
wandered into a museum,
tread the ocher alleys of Rome
read some lines by Rilke,
and gazed at the stars.

As I was hanging my t-shirts
with colored pins, according
to a precise aesthetic principle,
as I admired the beauty of the
yellow folds of that dress

that dark Artemisia painted
almost 400 years ago,
as I stopped to read the marble
plate recalling the death of a
German poet at the age of 27 in

1830 — who wrote all about
Hölderlin’s madness —
close to the tiniest balcony ever
overflowing with red geraniums,
as I seeked to measure the year

light meaning of the Big Dipper
and Orion, I felt all the multi-faceted

variations of me echo deep
within me in those words Rainer
penned in his Duino Elegies:

“Does the cosmic space,
we dissolve into, taste of us then?”
I felt compelled to stop and think.
It does indeed. This is the reason
why we write poetry, I believe.

Alessandra Bava is a poet and a translator living and working in Rome. She holds an MA in American Literature. Her work can be found in several magazines including elimae, Poetry Quarterly, Zouch Magazine & Miscellany and The Anemone Sidecar. She is currentIy writing the biography of a contemporary American poet. Her first chapbook of poetry is due for publication this year.


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