At least two poets of some
reknown have written poems
called The Map, as if there were
only one map, only one world.
Marie Howe mentions the Gobi
Desert, the Plateau of Tiber.
Elizabeth Bishop has Labrador,
and Newfoundland, owing to her
Nova Scotia origins. As if there
were only one map, one world.
But what would that poem be without
Norway’s hare, running south in agitation?
Just as I, of limited poetic prowess, could not
imagine a map poem or a place poem
without that high road from Santa Fe to Taos,
without the Little Manatee River, where I almost
drowned. As if there were only one map, one world.
I don’t know if Bishop ever went to Norway, but she
looked at a map of Europe long enough to see the
bunny emerge, and I have looked at maps all my
life, as if there were only one map, one world,
waiting for you to return.
2 thoughts on “Notes on Maps”
Reading your poem, I feel like you’re taking me to walk into a movie camera. Brilliant imagery. thank you
Thank YOU – what a great comment! It was frustrating not to be able to get the stanza format to stay. They’ve got it set to “paragraph” and as hard a I tried to change it, nothing worked. Maybe folks will complain they’ll change it.