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One Angel: Palazzo Arian, at San Raffaele Arcangelo

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At San Raffaele Arcangelo

One angel got it all wrong.
She plopped into this
sad century feet first
in her dark clothes.
There wasn't much water
that winter—just a few
puddles really—
to break her fall.
Mud-splattered, she rose
and shook like a canine.
It didn't take long
to see her soaked wings
as a backdrop to all
the nonmagic to which we were
accustomed, or to see
what passed for history
as a forgetting of sorts.
(Was that one or two wars?)
Strange how, as she limped
down a dim vicolo,
some willful disc hovered
above her more florid
than a sky—how the putrid
puddles with their last
reflections could neither
correct nor register that light.

Source: Poetry

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This poem originally appeared in the April 1999 issue of Poetry magazine

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One Angel: Palazzo Arian, at San Raffaele Arcangelo

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  • Poet Ann Snodgrass studied at the University of Iowa and the Johns Hopkins University and earned her PhD from the University of Utah. The recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, she was awarded the Raiziss/de Palchi Book Prize from the Academy of American Poets for her translation of Vittorio Sereni's poetry as well as the PEN American Center’s Renato Poggioli Translation Award. Snodgrass is the author of the poetry collection Portal (2001) and Dividing the Signs: Poems (1987). She has also published a volume of criticism, Knowing Noise: The English Poems of Amelia Rosselli (2001), and translations of Luciano Erba’s The Hippopotamus (2003) and Antonella Anedda’s Three Stations (2008).
     Formerly a professor at the Emerson College European program in Maastricht, Netherlands, Snodgrass now lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and teaches at MIT, the Berklee College of Music, and the Paris Writers...

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