Marco Polo at Finisterre

By Matthew Brenneman b. 1960 Matthew Brenneman

For R. L. B.

For all the far-flung continents he'd crossed,
Revealing lands they found beyond belief;
For all the roads that lay behind him, lost
In caverns of some atavistic grief

He'd carried with him since he was a boy;
For all the years, he should be weary now.
How then could he explain this welling joy,
A old man on a wintry beach? Or how

It seemed the wind bore perfumes of a whole
New wilderness, a lush and green Brazil
Over the dim horizon of his soul,
Farther than memory, beyond his will,

Where even now, in vibrant canopies,
The twilight songs of bird to hidden bird
Rose up in wild, untutored harmonies
More lovely for their never being heard.

Source: Poetry (September 2000).


This poem originally appeared in the September 2000 issue of Poetry magazine

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September 2000
 Matthew  Brenneman


Poet and lawyer Matthew Brenneman grew up in Connecticut. After earning a law degree from Duke University, Brenneman worked with law firms in New Haven and Baltimore before serving as assistant general counsel with Sylvan Learning Systems.
Brenneman’s poetry has appeared in Poetry, the Nebraska Review, and the Sewanee Theological Review.  He has been a sole practitioner specializing in corporate and transactional law since . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Growing Old, Nature, Living, Landscapes & Pastorals, Activities, Travels & Journeys

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Allusion, Rhymed Stanza

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