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Celebrating Italy

A poem by Impolite favourite Amy Barone

The Magi - Detail from: "Mary and Child, surrounded by angels", Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna 

CC Wikimedia Commons



When in Italy,
feel beautiful in Rome.
Grab a bike and get happy in Ferrara,


the planned Renaissance city,
where people travel by cycle
‘round ancient walls and along the Po.


Retrace Joyce’s steps in Trieste,
savor a splash from the Adriatic’s far north reach.
Work hard in Milan,


where serious Italians operate on Swiss time.
Greet my cousins in Teramo,
where hills shrouded in gold,


harbor lamb and mushrooms.
Get mystic in Ravenna,
where East meets West,


and Byzantine mosaics adorn
centuries’ old cathedrals.
Uncover Italy’s true masterpieces in Positano —


sea and sky and rock,
the big hole in the mountain
that resembles, well, anatomy,


and then indulge in heaping
plates of spaghetti con vongole.
Pledge to stay forever and never go back.

Amy Barone

About the Writer

Amy Barone’s new poetry collection, We Became Summer, from New York Quarterly Books, will be released in early 2018. She wrote chapbooks Kamikaze Dance (Finishing Line Press) and Views from the Driveway (Foothills Publishing). Her poetry has appeared in Café Review, Gradiva, Paterson Literary Review, Sensitive Skin, and Standpoint (UK), among other publications and anthologies. She spent five years as Italian correspondent in Milan for Women's Wear Daily and Advertising Age. Barone participates at spoken-word events in New York City, New Jersey and Philadelphia. She belongs to PEN America Center and the brevitas online poetry community that celebrates the short poem. A native of Bryn Mawr, PA, Barone lives in New York City.


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