It might be the Amalfi coast
makes it hard to tell.
more from distances in time
are always incomplete:
It’s Europe back before the wars,
a diva’s downward years,
takes up less than half the frame.
and how the houses lower down
and knows it will not be remembered.
for what was never really there.
You think it must be
The Saturday Evening Post
Those Norman Rockwell covers
the Huck Finn boy with fishing rod,
the old men all avuncular,
or otherwise as grandmas,
The draughtsmanship was so convincing,
Inside would be the ads for what
hygienic and efficient,
like Popular Mechanics.
that, not long past, the U.S.A.
a term we used back then.
sung through splendid teeth.
some have said ‘invented’ it,
the mythic Mississippi.
but not so very often.
The Saturday Evening Post could not
Geoff Page has published eighteen collections of poetry as well as two novels, four verse novels and several other works including anthologies, translations and a biography of the jazz musician, Bernie McGann. His awards include the Grace Leven Prize, the Christopher Brennan Award, the Queensland Premier’s Prize for Poetry and the 2001 Patrick White Literary Award. Selections from his work have been translated into Chinese, Hindi, German, Serbian, Slovenian and Greek. He has also read his work and talked on Australian poetry throughout Europe and in India, Singapore, China, Korea, the United States and New Zealand. His most recent publications are Agnostic Skies (Five Islands Press 2005), Seriatim (Salt 2007), 60 Classic Australian Poems (UNSW Press 2009) and Coffee with Miles CD (River Road Press 2009).
Page writes: “Although a poet should never ‘explain’ his or her poems a few comments may be of interest. ‘The Villas’ is based on a deservedly-forgotten greeting card. A lot of Australians (including me) like to sentimentalise Europe somewhat. It can be unbearably poignant at times. ‘The Horses’ may (remotely) reflect my upbringing on a cattle station — and (more certainly) my pseudo-retirement into Canberra’s coffee bars. ‘The Saturday Evening Post’ recalls my childhood wonderment at the hyper-realism of those Norman Rockwell cover illustrations during the 1940s and early ’50s. Only later did I realise he was being mythological.”