Imperial City

By Richie Hofmann Richie Hofmann
From the outset I hated the city of my ancestors.
I was fearful I’d be put in the dungeon below
the cathedral. The best example of the Romanesque
a guide was saying in German      in English      in French
where are buried eight German kings      four queens
twenty-three bishops      four Holy Roman Emperors
all of whom used this bishopric on the river as the seat
of the kingdom. On the old gate at one end a clock
told an ancient form of time. I sulked along behind
my parents as the guide gave facts about the war
with the Saracens      about the place where the Jews bathed
about the child like me whose father the Peaceful
having already produced an heir by his first marriage
could marry      for love.

Source: Poetry (November 2012).


This poem originally appeared in the November 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

November 2012
 Richie  Hofmann


Richie Hofmann is pursuing an MFA in the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. He is the recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize and the AWP Intro Journal Award for Poetry.

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Poems by Richie Hofmann

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Youth, Activities, Travels & Journeys, Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Social Commentaries, History & Politics

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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