Winter 1990 • Vol. XII No. 1 PoetryJanuary 1, 1990 |

Roman Fall: In Memoriam

I remember the bells of Santa Maria Maggiore     ringing on a crisp November morning Under an undiminished blue sky           that seemed to go on forever Over the purple hills rising in the distance. And I remember the rich unquarried blues           of the Janiculum at twilight, The sky veined and chipped like marble, The wind dipping     and soaring on transparent wings. That autumn we were always stepping off           into the glassy Roman light And then moving back into the polluted shadows, Climbing the penitential stairs     and crossing under the rounded arches, Sifting through the cold smog           and unholy traffic, Pointing at the stone carvings Of children dressed up as angels     under the vaulted domes and ceilings. That was your last season as yourself,           the fall before your fall— After that you were

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Edward Hirsch
Edward Hirsch is the winner of many awards, fellowships, and other honors, including Guggenheim, NEA, Delmore Schwartz Memorial, and the National Book Circle Award. He has published numerous books of poetry, most recently Gabriel: A Poem.

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I remember the bells of Santa Maria Maggiore     ringing on a crisp November morning Under an undiminished blue sky           that seemed to go on forever Over the purple hills rising […]

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