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, December 17, 2011

Revision, Exile, posting for DVerse Poetics

 Tera Zajack, Coming Home
A few quick notes:  I was astounded by this image, because it looks so much like the seacliff village Scylla where I would give my  good leg to live the expat life where Homer himself was so taken with the beauty of the Strait of Messina that it inspired the Odyssey!

In 1973 I was staked to a trip to Europe, met a southern Italian man in Verona and took a train down the coast of Italy alone to rendezvous with him..We took a day trip to Scylla and I lost my heart to the villas built into the cliffs.  Clearly no poet could have asked for more inspiration than that experience. Moreover, vis a vis the image I selected today, the night before my train left my artist friend Julia Marshall painted me in a moon-balloon in a basket floating down the coast, being greeted by a little family.  It was all very much like that, and this amazing piece resonates with me in all of these ways.  One of my poems follows.  My memoir of this experience is posted in its entirety: Nightfall in Verona


Now I am in Rapallo, the boats tied
at the dock.  My hair is dark again and I

climb from the skiff  and stride along past
the mustard-colored villas.  I sit at a table

back in the redolent shade where roses
embellish the blurred frescoes of war.

An old woman comes by, dragging sacks
of baguettes behind her in a cart. I buy a loaf

and lean it on the other chair, il dolce pane
and I together in the shade, the glittering

red geraniums in the window box.  It is afternoon
but I write a chanson du matin, a morning psalm,

on a stained piece of paper, tucking it into
my pocket.  Somewhere out there coming from

a long distance, the mariner. Within, the swan,
capable, strong, wide-winged and armed

for the distance.This is what I am,
not someone on the lam with

a bad leg and a crook in her back, few
years left with which to write more entreaties

to the moon, the sun, the stars.
Now the swan spreads her shining twin

rivers and rises, gliding off on the oceanic
currents, tears from the burning air streaming

back from her black mask. She flaps and glides,
settling herself then at the calling buoy, waiting

for all who come for the bread of love
rowing in from the lavender dark.


from my collection of Italy/opera inspired poems, The Listener's Delirium.
To participate in DVerse Poet's Pub myriad of weekly activities, click here.

copyright Jenne' R. Andrews 2011 


Claudia said...

awesome imagery as always jenne..loved esp. the morning psalm on a stained piece of paper

Brian Miller said...

nice...love that you are the swan spreading those wings jenne...and like the pace you set, setting the scene very nice before you get there...i often capture poems on scraps so i am with you there as well...smiles.

Maureen said...

Having read your "Nightfall in Verona", I can imagine the feelings that must have arisen when you saw the image you include here.

The poem is a mini "Nightfall", with a controlled cadence and, as always, images that tell your story cinematically. I especially like your vision of the swan in the concluding lines. Would that we could all be exiled to Rapallo, sustaining ourselves on the bread of love.

Morning said...

incredible journey in your words.

Mama Zen said...

Absolutely lovely!

Anonymous said...

I love "rowing in from the lavender dark."


Anonymous said...

A very pretty poem. I especially like the bread of love and the lavender dark. K.

Morning said...

beautiful blend of thoughts and imaginations.
way to go.

Sheila Moore said...

What a glorious swan! I could see the whole scene. You write beautifully.

Dave King said...

I was really taken by this. Some superb images and a fresh take on the pic.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Just so spectacularly beautiful. Your eye for detail makes the work so redolent of the time and place.. and who could fail to see the poetic truth in a flying swan? Gorgeous.

Steve King said...

I love the tone, the voice, the pace. The writing is a window into another level of understanding, which is what this is all about, I guess. Very refined, understated. Classic. I truly enjoyed this.

Steve King said...

This is my second try, so if the first shows up sometime, my apologies. I love the pace, the voice here. Your words elevate the understanding to another level, and I guess that's what it's all about. So understated and elegant. I really enjoyed reading this.

Friko said...

How wonderful, both the memory and the poem.

I see you sitting there, at a little table in the shade, scribbling your poem on to a scrap of paper, being there, fully in the moment.

This is a very lovely image, like a painting in my mind.

ayala said...

Great imagery, and thank you for sharing your story, it's lovely!

Victoria said...

Your memories came alive for me, thanks to the precise sensory details you gave us. I would not have gotten as much out of this painting without your poem Jenne.