A Map of Verona
Quelle belle heure, quels bons bras
me rendront ces régions d'où mes
sommeils et mes moindres mouvements?
A map of Verona is open, the small strange city;
With its river running round and through, it is river-embraced,
And over this city for a whole long winter season,
Through streets on a map, my thoughts have hovered and paced.
Across the river there is a wandering suburb,
An unsolved smile on a now familiar mouth;
Some enchantments of earlier towns are about you:
Once I was drawn to Naples in the south.
Naples I know now, street and hovel and garden,
The look of the islands from the avenue,
Capri and Ischia, like approaching drum-beats—
My youthful Naples, how I remember you!
You were an early chapter, a practice in sorrow,
Your shadows fell, but were only a token of pain,
A sketch in tenderness, lust, and sudden parting,
And I shall not need to trouble with you again.
But I remember, once your map lay open,
As now Verona's under the still lamp-light.
I thought, are these the streets to walk in the mornings,
Are these the gardens to linger in at night?
And all was useless that I thought I learned:
Maps are of place, not time, nor can they say
The surprising height and colour of a building,
Nor where the groups of people bar the way.
It is strange to remember those thoughts and try to catch
The underground whispers of music beneath the years,
The forgotten conjectures, the clouded, forgotten vision,
Which only in vanishing phrases reappears.
Again, it is strange to lead a conversation
Round to a name, to a cautious questioning
Of travellers, who talk of Juliet's tomb and fountains
And a shining smile of snowfall, late in Spring.
Their memories calm this winter of expectation,
Their talk restrains me, for I cannot flow
Like your impetuous river to embrace you;
Yet you are there, and one day I shall go.
The train will bring me perhaps in utter darkness
And drop me where you are blooming, unaware
That a stranger has entered your gates, and a new devotion
Is about to attend and haunt you everywhere.
The flutes are warm: in tomorrow's cave the music
Trembles and forms inside the musician's mind,
The lights begin, and the shifting crowds in the causeways
Are discerned through the dusk, and the rolling river behind.
And in what hour of beauty, in what good arms,
Shall I those regions and that city attain
From whence my dreams and slightest movements rise?
And what good Arms shall take them away again?
Henry Reed's Other Poems
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Comments about this poem (A Map of Verona by Henry Reed )
Still I Rise
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Edgar Allan Poe
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
A Dream Within A Dream
Edgar Allan Poe
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
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- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- If, Rudyard Kipling
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- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
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- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
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