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 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 Lorenzo Luciani, will be released by Finishing Line at the end of 2016 and her latest collection, And Now, the Road, a finalist for the Autumn House prize in 2014, will be released by Salmon Poetry Ltd, Ireland, a highly regarded international house, Jessie Lendennie, Publisher, circa 2017.

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 has recently imported two British Golden Retrievers and expects a litter in June-- see the Ardorgold website for details. Contact: jenneandrews2010@gmail.com .

Saturday, August 13, 2011

New Poem: Return to Verona

You may also want to check out the memoir I've posted in full, Nightfall in Verona.  xxxj

Verona: Bridge over Fiume Po at dusk.
Return to Verona

…the real gave way to
the more-than-real, each moment's carmine
abundance, furl of reddest petals
lifted from the stalk and no hint of the black
hussar's hat at the center

Red Poppy,  Tess Gallagher  from Moon Crossing Bridge

Forever have I longed to return
To Verona, that delicate city
Spread on green Tuscany like a wild poppy
Striated with dark rivers, on fire with light

Not as the girl I was in ‘73
Lost and hungry, taken there in the courtyard
Where lovers gather, into a stranger’s arms
Abandoning myself to go then to him
Down the arid coast by train in the night
Of the dangerous tunnels

But to return whole, and full and ripe
As I am now.  Imagine it, dusk
And I am in my pensione, toweling off
After a shower, Boheme on the radio
Friends waiting at the bistro below.
I go down the old stairs
Through the rose garden, carrying my notebook.

They are there at a table, the few expats one needs
And reveres for their loquacity and ready laughter.
We muse in the twilight, the pigeons wheeling over us
The fountain is a wild display of dimes and crystals

And in the aftermath of talk, I sashay
In a promenade, passeggiata with myself
Down the long corridors retracing my steps
From that summer long ago.  Now I see
That I have come to reclaim her, the girl
With the stars in her eyes who gave herself
Too quickly, so that she has a bruised heart.

It is true that desire lingers but we two
reunite, in the street lamp's milky incandescence 
Full-blown roses perfume the air, some ancient glow
In the walls of the villa brings a fresco to life
And women there are gathered at a well
Talking of angels.

The girl and I return to our room.  She is afraid
Of our freedom, how little we need 
The reassurances of a lover now 
But I say to her, come to the window:
We are as safe in the world as anyone
And look, how beautiful this our city, her 
impulsive and abundant candlelight
Refracting like stars caught in the river’s hem.

copyright Jenne' R. Andrews 

posted in part for the Sunday poetics challenge at DVerse Poets Pub.  


Anonymous said...

She is afraid
Of our freedom, how little we need anyone else
but I say to her
We are as safe in the world as anyone
And look, how beautiful the city lights
Refracting like stars caught in the river’s hem.

I always enjoy tales of empowerment, the suggestion of your memoir makes me presume this is a real life triumph. I am glad you found a safe space in the world. Thank you for the poem that honors that younger self.

Myrna R. said...

This is a great story. I am glad the woman returned to assure the girl of safety and power. Good write.

Brian Miller said...

smiles. i was glad for the happy ending jenne...uplifting and encouraging... a fine bit of storytelling...great feel to the piece...

Maureen said...

So many months ago after reading your memoir draft, I remember remarking to you how I could imagine you writing it also as poetry. This is a beautiful example, the looking back that can only happen from the place you are now. Many lyrical and lovely lines in this one; one of my favorites is that final "Refracting like stars caught in the river's hem."

Mama Zen said...

This made me cry. It's exquisite.

Timoteo said...

If only we knew then what we know now. Or is it the other way around? Sometimes I wonder.
Goosebumps again.

Beachanny said...

I like how you brought the younger you back but the older you knew how to be grown up, to drink, to converse, to laugh, enjoy that last golden and orchid light before all goes twilight and shines in the wine. There's nothing else like it and one loves everything and everyone there.

Brendan said...

Yes, the city finds renewal at the well of memory, where women talk of angels and an angelic, golden light filters everything with redemption. Far indeed from city nights long ago ... B

Claudia said...

never made it to verona so far but seems to be a fascinating city for sure...and as you describe here..we bring ourselves into a city and somehow melt with her but would differently years or maybe just weeks later..a beautiful poem jenne

kez said...

beautiful ...How I love Italy too but is it ever the same if we return ...to view a city with innocence is such an awe inspiring thing, to someone who has become more of a cynic will it still be magical, still I wish to return as do you ...perhaps it is magical. your poem makes me yearn even more for Italy.

P.s your link on the site didn,t include the last m in com

Victoria said...

This sounds like a wonderful place to visit. I especially like how you wove in so many sensory details...and colors.

Anonymous said...

Ohhh, I like, if I am reading it right. Going back to a place with our younger self. Excellent job, nice pace and flow. And thanks for the visit!

Heaven said...

this is a beautiful reflection of woman who is now wiser and stronger...

you captured the scenes very vividly and drew a city full of emotions and colours...

Anonymous said...

Loved your last line... and the story form of reflections on your city.

erin said...

what a picture you have painted. while i can't imagine being her, i can imagine her.

we are as safe as anyone and as unsafe. this is life, sweet life.


Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Lovely. And I'll be reading your book/blog asap. :)