Return to Rome

By Stanley Moss b. 1925 Stanley Moss
Today in Rome, heading down   
Michelangelo’s Spanish Steps,   
under an unchanging moon,   
I held on to the balustrade,
grateful for his giving me a hand.   
All for love, I stumbled over the past
as if it were my own feet. Here, in my twenties,
I was lost in love and poetry. Along the Tiber,
I made up Cubist Shakespearean games.   
(In writing, even in those days,
I cannot say it was popular to have “subjects”
any more than painters used sitters. But I did.)
I played with an ignorant mirror for an audience:
my self, embroiled with personae
from Antony and Cleopatra. Delusions of grandeur!
They were for a time my foul-weather friends—
as once I played with soldiers
on the mountainous countryside of a purple blanket.

2002

Stanley Moss, “Return to Rome” from A History of Color: New and Collected Poems. Reprinted with the permission of Seven Stories Press, www.sevenstories.com.

Source: A History of Color: New and Collected Poems (Seven Stories Press, 2003)

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Poet Stanley Moss b. 1925

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Time & Brevity, Living, Activities, Travels & Journeys

 Stanley  Moss

Biography

Stanley Moss was educated at Trinity College (Connecticut) and Yale University and makes his living as a private art dealer, specializing in Spanish and Italian Old Masters. As a child he visited Europe with his family, and after serving in World War II he taught English in Barcelona and Rome, where he became familiar with the religious and mythical figures that appear in his work.

He is the critically acclaimed author of The . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Time & Brevity, Living, Activities, Travels & Journeys

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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