Jenne' Andrews is an American poet. She has three published chapbooks including the recent Blackbirds Dance in the Empire of Love, Finishing Line Press 2013.

A full-length collection, Reunion, Lynx House Press, was published in 1983; after a long hiatus to raise Golden Retrievers in Colorado, recent work has appeared in The Passionate Transitory, Belletrist Coterie, The Adirondack Review and many poems in Vox Populi, a journal of culture, politics and poetry published and edited by the august Michael Simms.

A bilingual collection of "Italiana," Bocca, Voce, Delirio, with translations by Enzo Castel di Lama and R.Alba DellaSora, will be released by Orfea Books in 2019; also after the New Year the poet's first book length collection in many years, The Candor of the Witness, a finalist for the Autumn House prize in 2014, will be on Orfea's Board.

Andrews holds the MFA in Creative Writing/Poetry from Colorado State University, is a literary fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts, and was full-time Poet in Residence for the St. Paul Schools from '74-78. She lived in St. Paul from 1971-78 during the first wave of the Twin Cities literary renaissance, and spent the summer of 1973 in Reggio Calabria, Italy.

The poet lives in northern Colorado's Poudre River Valley with her husband, fiction writer Jack Brooks; the couple's daily life is centered around their seven English Golden Retrievers, four of them direct imports, and expects a litter in November-- see the Ardorgold website for details. Contact: jenneandrews2010@gmail.com.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

New Poem: Love After Yeats

Whole years have passed since last I posted.  Do not be offended at my latest poem, which is not far away in psychological time from my last poem here; corporeal joy in love's vernacular.

Love After Yeats

Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.

 The Wild Swans at Coole  William Butler Yeats 

All afternoon we roll in an imaginary sun
Hungry for you for days I come quickly,
Calling out, only you, your head against mine
To hear me.

All afternoon I make love to you, your maleness
And sweat, I kiss and touch and suck, taste my own
Juices, caress the velvet mushroom of your cock with my tongue
Suckle you like a newborn calf its mother

You are a fatalist, you say, “Maybe tomorrow.”
We are both so tired,
From life’s vicissitudes…tired, hungry.
But our time in the country of sweat is so
Abbreviated; we are the old swans
Yeats writes of; I have flapped my wings

In swan love over you, much of my body
Damaged and useless, no further
Disarming tricks in my heart
To incite a resurrection.

I dive into deep water
Where sharks could come
And halve me in two in an instant,
Deep warm salt water of the past
Where starfish wrinkle on the sea-bottom
Where octopi look out from great conches,

I begin to kiss and bite your lips; you are stroking
Yourself.  I tell you of something long ago,
How I taught my Italian lover
To touch me.
I am biting your lips and telling you
The story of two young lovers
In an instant that is fading
Like a painting seen once
From a train in a brief glimpse
Into someone’s window

Of how it was, his thick young cock
Thrusting, his fingers dipped
In olive oil circling my clit,
How I pulsed and grabbed him
My pussy pulling him into me
How he came hard, flooding me
With saltwater;

I am biting and teasing you;
You are stroking yourself
I tell you how my pussy flowers
When I am wet and hungry;
I think you remember how it was
With us—your breathing
Quickens; sweet syrup pours
Over your fingers;
We laugh and laugh
Beached together
On the shores of love
We two old swans.

copyright Jenne' R. Andrews 2018

Monday, October 26, 2015

New Poem for Magpie Tales.....

photo by Daniel Murtagh

Pasodoble, 1979

Unlike other moments of transport
I remember that day exactly.
After the drought between us
he had flown in; so much time
had passed, I could not still
my leaping heart.

I had taken over my parents’ house
after my father’s death.
I had inhabited their room
sifting through mother’s jewelry
for some time,
drinking the cold white wine
of summer,

erasing the bad years,
the disarray of cigarette-burned
furniture and floors,
all the chaos two drowning people
leave behind
when death comes,  circumspect
as the mail carrier—

Suddenly Father was gone and Mother
wouldn’t speak;
she was face down on her bed
in the Golden West,
where broken people are deposited
like a check to a teller
to be fed and dressed
and wheeled in to the lounge,
parked under a donated
clock with slow hands.

That day my lover
stood in the doorway,
his brown eyes dancing;
he was my height, not tall,
with a dazzling smile
that made you think
of Caribbean beach fires…
His English was lyrical,
assonant with  Spanish.

I wore a new peach peignoir,
my hair down. 
When he stepped toward me
there was no stopping it—the wet
deep kisses, his hands deftly
sliding the gown from my shoulders
until it pooled on the floor
like a wilted orchid
someone had forgotten
to place in a vase of cut glass
that could refract its pale luster.  

Then, kisses and whisperings,
 the beautiful clench
of mutuality, how we had taught
each other the horizontal
I, pulling him into me
with those deepest muscles,
he, surging, his fingers
massaging the hot opalescent
pearl-slick node there, 
with its long sensate petals,

So that I pulsed, and pulled him
down into the hungry fathoms
of my womanhood--
clenched, and burned;
my heart fracturing
at the beauty and glory of it.

We two lay awash and weeping
in that stillness
of absence and summer;
He said he was in love with me,
and I said I wanted to carry
his child.

Years later I sent a letter
in Spanish in care of a church
listing his name among its congregants
telling him I regretted my hurts,
had forgotten nothing between us.
Of course that good fellow the pastor
passed it on to his wife
who sent a curt greeting to me
and said she had given it to him;
that he had read it, lifting one eyebrow,
saying nothing.

How I wanted to open the floodgates,
Somehow revive the past.
Not long after she wrote again,
saying that he had died,
heart giving out at eighty-three,
refusing oxygen.

I wondered what had happened
to me in multiple
collisions with other men
over the years, a hardening
of the heart that had given him
so much lyrical tenderness. 

When the news came
I lay down on my rumpled bed;
in afternoon light; our old rapture
poured over me;
his semblance kissed the small
of my back;
I whispered, “Gracias a la vida
che mi ha dado tanto; *
my grey hair spread around me,
a field without flowers.

*Gracias a la vida che mi ha dado tanto = Thank you life, for giving me so much."

Friday, March 6, 2015

New Poem: Notes on a Day in England

Notes on a Day in England

I turn on the PC
to be treated to a series of photos
of friends spending the day in York.

Several of us are peering into the window
of this romance.  A solemn yet generous-voiced
Englishman.  A beautiful American woman.

Figuratively along for the ride,
we muse over the photos, the stark
yet tender rowhouses, the cathedral--
embracing the air with Gothic arms.
the grey stucco on grey sky; 
an aristocratic dark ale
shared in a dark inn.

We are not voyeurs--only
want these two
to keep warming their hands 
by the light
in each other’s eyes--

our attention says, “Godspeed.” 
Our conjecture recognizes the potential
for delirium—the ecstatic—
and how it is to part,
how deep the aching.

One afternoon forty years ago
I released the hands clasping mine,
staunching my tears
as he wept as well, and the train
pulling out of Turin station
bore him away 
like the welter of night.

Here it is a blue and diminishing day.
My love reads in the next room;
we are old, vulnerable
to the next hard thing
which we know will befall
as surely as bad weather descends
over the valley.

We think that we will face
all things bravely,
even when one of us
is removed from our daily lives
and where he sat or where we lay
inexorably pools with absence.

 How necessary
to give over to love, how definite
the great sundial of late winter
cottonwoods casting their own
courageous shadows
over last year's grass.    

copyright Jenne' R. Andrews

Friday, September 26, 2014

Second Guest Poem - Rosalba Di Vona - Magia della solitudine dell' anima - The Magical Solitude of the Soul

Welcome to the second week of publication of a contemporary Italian poet’s work on my blog.  The poet Rosalba Di Vona has graciously permitted me to translate her poem Magia della solitudine dell’anima/ The Magical Solitude of the Soul.

This is a brilliant poem about existential torment, of the body attempting to speak with the soul or more properly, attempting to listen to what the soul says in and with silence.  Please know that this may well be an imperfect translation.  I ask that you feel free to comment—this is a blog, after all—even contributing a better working of the poem in English or parts of it—to do it even more justice.The poem appears first in rich and beautiful Italian.  Then, the translation. My heartfelt thanks to this wonderful poet!

Benvenuti alla seconda settimana di pubblicazione dell'opera di un poeta italiano contemporaneo sul mio blog.  Il poeta/la poetessa formidabile Rosalba Di Vona gentilmente ha permesso a me di tradurre la poesia Magia della solitudine dell’anima.

Questa è una poesia brillante sul tormento esistenziale, del corpo tentando di parlare con l'anima, o più correttamente, tentando di ascoltare ciò che dice l'anima e nel silenzio.  Si prega di sapere che questo potrebbe essere una traduzione imperfetta.  Chiedo che sentono liberi di commentare — questo è un blog, dopo tutto — anche contribuendo a un migliore lavoro della poesia in inglese o parti di esso — fare esso anche più giustizia. Grazie di cuore, Rosalba!

Painting by Lorenzo Luciani

Magia della solitudine dell’anima

Resto ad ascoltare il lento passo
che spesso appare scomodo
ma intimo confessa
l’intervista all’anima inquieta

aggrovigliata nella sedia preferita
stringo al petto le ginocchia e fisso
piedi scalzi laccati di rosso e
mani  lente a massaggiare caviglie

sguardo dolce che implora energie
nell’intimità del grande silenzio che
racconta anche ciò che non sopporta
a  chi non l’ascolta senza inorridire

magia della solitudine dell’anima
che non ha bisogno di lenti per vedere e
credere nelle azioni che verranno ricompensate o
per trovare approdo dove il razionale è latitante

cerco solo l’intuizione giusta quella dei verbi che bramano
gesti da fare per incontrare  la speranza di futuri migliori
non si sopravvive oggi se non si pensa al domani
Il dolore della vita è maestro e in lui cerco la speranza

copyright Rosalba Di Vona  2014.

The Magical Solitude of the Soul

della poetessa Rosalba Di Vona.

I rest, to listen to the slow pace
that often seems inconvenient
but intimately confesses
an interview with the unquiet soul.

Tangled in a favorite chair
pressing my knees to my chest,
my feet fixed and lacquered red,
my slow hands massaging my ankles,

with a sweet look that summons energy
into the intimacy of the great silence
that recounts, even though
it is insoportable
to one who cannot listen
without being horrified.

The magic of the soul's solitude,
that doesn't need glasses to see
and believe in actions                                                                                                                
that will be rewarded
or to find approbation
where the rational is fugitive.

I am looking for that certain intuitiveness
of verbs that crave gestures of action,
to encounter hope for a better future.
You do not survive today
if you do not think about tomorrow.
The pain of life is a teacher
and it is there that I search for hope.

A poem by Rosalba Di Vona
Translation:  Jenne' R. Andrews

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

They Know All, the Stars/ Sanno Tutto Le Stelle by the Italian Poet Maria Esposito

Immagine di Maria Esposito

Caro Amici:  questa nel Italiano e sotto.  It is with great pleasure that I post what will surely not be the first of guest poems by an Italian "poetessa," with my humble effort at a translation into English beneath it.

I had no idea there were a number of gifted Italian women poets--throughout mainland Italy and especially, on Sicily, in the spectacular communities of like-minded people on that storm-tossed island that has been home to the Greeks, the Romans, the Normans, the Spanish, the Arabs-- multiple bel epochs,  each leaving its spectrum of influences.

I gladly offer the opportunity to the reader to try his or her own hand at a better translation, one that brings forth more of the intense lyrical mysticism that pervades this poem.  Please note that there is a translation link on the sidebar where you can insert as much as a stanza at a time to compare my translation to your own or others'.

Without further ado, a beautiful poem by Maria Esposito.  Thank you, beautiful Maria!
. . . . . . . . . .
È con grande piacere che vi do la che sicuramente non sarà il primo di poesie di un Italiano "poetessa", con il mio umile sforzo di una traduzione in inglese sotto di essa.

Non avevo la idea che fosse un numero di  poeti dotti Italiani chi anche sono donne--in tutta l'Italia continentale e, in particolare, in Sicilia, nella spettacolare comunità di persone che la pensano in quella  isola bellezza che è stata la casa per i Greci, i Romani, i Normanni,  gli Arabi-- più bel epoche, ogni lasciando il suo spettro di influenze.

Sono lieto di potervi offrire la possibilità al lettore di provare la propria mano in una migliore traduzione, quello che porta via più intensa misticismo lirica che caratterizza  questa poesia. mysticism

Senza piu de mi , una bella poesia di Maria Esposito. Grazie, bella Maria! Si prega di notare che c'è un collegamento di traduzione sulla barra laterale dove è possibile inserire quanto una stanza in un momento di confrontare la mia traduzione al proprio o altri".

Sanno Tutto Le Stelle

Sanno tutto le stelle
Sanno tutto loro...
Come indicarci con esattezza
le attese o imparare a maneggiare
il niente.
Come scavare nelle speranze
e andare avanti.
Sanno tutto le stelle
come raccogliere le ore
ed essere fedele ai segreti
a come amare con grazia
e senza egoismo o come
attendere il destino oppure
Sanno tutto le stelle
finché restano somposte e
sparse nel cielo per la gioia di Dio
e sanno anche a come sognare
un immortalità ma che
non sia ben ancorata alla terra
quell'ordine scandito
che veglia come un guardiano
le sorti degl'uomini dall'universo.

They know all the stars

They know all, the stars.
They know all.
How to tell us in exactitude
our suppositions or how to manage
How to excavate our longing
and how to keep on.

They know all, the stars
how to collect the hours
and be faithful to their secrets;
how to love with gratitude
and without egotism;
how to attend to fate
or invent it into being.

They know it all, the stars,
how to remain affixed yet scattered
to the delight of God

and they also know how to dream
in an immortality
that is unanchored to the earth--
that order set forth
that watches like a guardian,
over humanity's fate in the universe..

Maria Esposito, Napolitana - translation, Jenne' R. Andrews, M.F.A.

Image provided by Maria Esposito

Forthcoming: poetry from the masterful Siciliana/Termitana Rita Elia, Rosalba di Vona, Prof. Santina Cundari, "Alla Pescatora" of beautiful Scilla, Italia, and others...

Monday, September 1, 2014

Recent Poem: Faultlines

This translation is a compromise between my own, done with the help of a translation program, and that of Sr. Marco Giuffrida.  Watch for his in full.  The original and English version of the poem appear below it.  Thank you.

Questa traduzione è un compromesso tra la mia, fatta con l'aiuto di un programma di traduzione, e quella Signore Marco Giuffrida. Guarda per il suo intero. La versione originale e in inglese del poema appare sotto di esso. Grazie.

La Frattura

Sputa la pioggia,
è dopo, del radio, avviso di tempesta.
Adesso qualcosa che ho fatto e venduto
comincia a incrinarsi,
frantumarsi, allargarsi

come colei che osservo nello specchio
nelle acque vorticose della notte.

E adesso, che le ragazze nigeriane
non sono tornate alle famiglie.
Così, ora vi sono linee di faglia, fratture,
in molti cuori.


Chi può riparare a tutto questo.
quale prodotto straordinario
per uso domestico
che riempie tutte le incrinature.

Che vaso di decoupage colla,
lo progettato sembra un’ craqueleur-

Cosa propinquità e di decenza,
quale vicinanza o opportunità,
o segretario di Stato
o dottrina antica vieta la guerra?


Questi cose frantumati, si allontanano
l’un l’altro,
nonostante la loro archiviazione lucida
o polvere di vetro--
Ciò che non dovrebbe accadere, ma accade…

Che non posso spiegare io stesso per me.
Che la nostra affiliazione è inspiegabile
dopo la frammentazione delle anni domestici.

Che qualcuno che conosco
Che vive vicino al fiume
or’ va su una bicicletta nel diluvio
con cappello fradicio,
il suo cagnolino affamato
trotto di lato.


Queste sono le cose che aderiscono a me
ed a voi, queste cose
che rubano la nostra attenzione:

Come al crepuscolo,
un libro di un amico
si cade aperto
alle pagine giallo e disintegrano:

dove le sue parole salgono
come nebbia ed entrano in me
dalla ombre frammentazione
della scatola archivio.


Fault Lines

Spitting rain, a tornado warning.
Something I made and sold
suddenly begins to crack, peel,
fall apart--

like she whom I behold
in the bathroom mirror
in the eddying waters of night.

That the Nigerian girls
have not been returned
so that there are now fault lines
in many hearts.


Who can repair any of this,
what remarkable product
for wide household use
that fills all cracks.
What pot of decoupage glue,
itself designed to intimate

What propinquity or propriety,
what secretary of state,
or fading doctrine
against war?


These things cracking, peeling,
pulling away from each other,
despite their archival gloss, or
dust-coated glass--

That which should not, yet does:

That I cannot explain myself
to myself.
That our affiliation
is inexplicable
after the splintering
household years.

That there is someone I know
riding by on a bike
in a sodden hat
with a trotting pitbull at side,
that these two live in all weather
on the river flat.


These are the things that adhere to me,
to you,
that claim our attention,

how a friend’s book falls open at dusk
to yellow and disintegrate pages,
where his words then rise like mist
and enter me
from the fragmented shadows
of the archive box.

copyright Jenne' R. Andrews 2014  jenneandrews2010@gmail.com .

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Poesia Nuova-- Meditazioni del Giorno, trans. Signore Marco Giuffrida, Vicenza, Italia



Mezzanotte, primi di agosto
ed è tempo di riordinare le Cose,
lavori delle mani, creazioni della Mente.

Per portare la giornata al seno
come fiori piegati
o morbido tessuto fresco di bucato,
è l’unione di piccoli oggetti
con altri della stessa specie.
Sale con il miele. Gusci d’uovo
con i fondi del caffè,
scorze d’arancia e frammenti d’osso.

Poi, alla Chiusa il corpo chino,
a togliere il sudore rappreso
per il pomeriggio febbrile,
così come le piogge hanno donato
il verde, con generosità,
ai giardini nella fine estate.


E’ l’ora
di piccole verifiche:
come la casa sembra apparire
in fondo al viale
fiancheggiato da pioppi ricurvi
o come il vecchio canile, all’ombra,
ora vuoto,
senza le ultime dorate cucciolate,
o per il crescere di teneri alberi
che coprono la vista del torrente
che circonda la casa
al pari di una folla di Gheise
coperte da fruscianti manti
di seta verde,
la stessa casa in una cauta serenità
si abbandona, dondolandosi e chinandosi,
alla pioggia e all’umidità,
verso la Terra.


Si fa davvero poco
per mettere ordine,
ed anch’io a mezzanotte, adagio,
mi abbandono  all’interiorità,
Donna sola,
chinandomi e riflettendomi
nella Danza delle Nutrici.
Ancestrali paure dell’Esistere
mi afferrano per un braccio
trascinandomi semincosciente
verso compiti più semplici,
forgiando un’alleanza
fra un’ora e la successiva,
tra il consumato per il piallato delle tavole
della panca dove noi ci sediamo,
nella ciotola cobalto del tramonto;
e come i deboli venti grigi del Tempo
noi rendiamo le cose lisce come cote,
cuscino fra noi e quel Paese lontano,
al di là del Miraggio,
di verdi campi infiniti.

Jenne' R. Andrews, trans.  Marco Giuffrida



Midnight, early August
and it is time
for the centering of things,
hands’ work, mind’s drift.

To gather the day to the breast
like the folding of flowers,
the soft fabric of the laundry,
the reuniting of small objects
with others of their kind.
Salt to honey.  Eggshells
unto coffee grounds,
orange rind and wishbone.

Then, to sluice the body down,
rinse away the dried sweat
of the fevered afternoon,
how the rains have imparted
a green generosity
to the late summer garden.


It is the hour
of small recognitions:
how the house seems ever
appearing, at the end of the long
lane flanked by leaning
poplars, how the old kennel,
barren now of gilded litters
in shaded runs,
belongs to the overgrowth--

of advancing leggy trees, each year
coming in closer from the creek,
encircling the house like a throng
of geishas in rustling green silk,
house itself in a circumspect quietude,
yielding to the rain and damp,
rocking back against the earth.


Little truly gives itself
to the making of order,
but even as I freefall inward
in midnight adagio--
woman alone,
bending and reflecting
in the nurturer’s dance,
old fears at existence
pulling at my arm,

this half-conscious way of giving oneself
to plain tasks forges an alliance
between one hour and the next,

between the wearing away of the hand-planed
boards of the deck where we sit
in a cobalt bowl of twilight--

and how the low grey winds of time
hone us like whetstone,
bearing us on toward that far country
beyond the mirage
of infinitely green fields.

Jenne' R. Andrews  August 2014