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This poem is taken from PN Review 156, Volume 30 Number 4, March - April 2004.

Two Poems Andrew Waterman

The Tyrrhenian Sea

This is how it must have felt to Odysseus:
one after another the islands rising from water,

Stromboli streaming out lava, next Panarea
around which sea gurgles with gases, then twin-peaked Salina

where the fleshy Aeolian caper grows, that some claim
is the land of the sirens; past Lipari's towering cliffs

(far islands two tents pitched on blue), we swing between
rock-fangs and fuming Vulcano, on up to landfall...

Though mine is no skiff with one sail, but pounding beneath me
the ferry from Naples. And he blew in from the east.

If these were his islands: all efforts to chart him founder.
In Homer the isle of Aeolus keeper of winds

has sheer rock cliffs, but it is a floating island...
Mariners then were returning with tales made taller

in telling: sorceries, shepherds who'd chased them away
...


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