The Italian Lesson

By HONOR MOORE 

 

To bind at last

the loose miscellany

a first love left

and shattered.

 

That summer

in Florence alone

she stepped

into the Bargello,

room of Donatello, of saints

given shape. 

 

This time to speak

not fear language

 

but it was raining and

from her attention

the 4 o’clock instructor

vanished.

 

Thunder,

a miniature apocalypse

torrential across

the castle window,

she takes up

an essay about

the great Irish poet.

 

Again the girl

of twenty

now in Cambridge,

in her hands

a turquoise book

about that poet,

her brain wrestling

 

toward a still point, what

to be faithful to.

 

A language

in fragments,

at her ear, the present

storm binding her

back to what it is

that breaks then

frees the mind.

 

[Purchase Issue 13 here]

Honor Moore is the author of three collections of poetry—Red Shoes, Darling, and Memoir—with a fourth collection forthcoming. Her most recent books are the memoir The Bishop’s Daughter and Poems from the Women’s Movement, which she edited for the Library of America.

Julia PikeThe Italian Lesson

Related Posts

stairs staircase

Corey

MIK AWAKE
Became a skinhead / a year after he moved from / Bumblefucktucky. / Hit me with his cast. / Hurt people hurt people / often with their hurt parts. / Who broke his arm? / His step-dad step on him? / They was poor, but they was white. / A black eye was the only / color he brought to art class. /

Toronto Author Photo

Ask a Local: Kai Cheng Thom, Toronto

There is a deep history of violence and cultural genocide here, punctuated by brief moments of collaboration and solidarity. This is never more apparent to me than when I am on the subway, where the vast diversity of Toronto's racial and cultural communities throngs together, and the historical power dynamics, class tensions, and intense humanity of it all comes to a head.

The Common logo (black box) in between POETRY and FEATURE, in white print on a light green background

November 2017 Poetry Feature

SEBASTIAN MATTHEWS
There’s something a little creepy about attending so completely, incessantly, to trauma. Something masochistic about it. But what was I supposed to do? I am a writer, a processor, a worrier. The first lines of a poem came to me in the ICU.