Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving Week, Saturday

I am thankful for my childhood, in what is now a foreign land, a far country, for my adventuring parents who came to a place on the map where neither had ever been.  I am thankful for the memories I was given of the first river (though scarcely a trickle, until snowmelt gave it substance for a week or two), the first light.

All the Ivans dreaming of their villages 

all the Marias dreaming of their walled cities, 

picking up fragments of New World slowly, 

not knowing how to put them together nor how to join 

image with image, now I know how it was with you, an old map 

made long before I was born shows ancient 

rights of way where I walked when I was ten burning with desire 

for the world's great splendors, a child who traced voyages 

indelibly all over the atlas, who now in a far country 

remembers the first river, the first 

field, bricks and lumber dumped in it ready for building, 

that new smell, and remembers 

the walls of the garden, the first light.

—from “A Map Of The Western Part Of The County Of Essex In England,” Denise Levertov 

image:  1513 World Map


  1. I love old world maps.
    I have one myself, although of course it's not an original copy.
    It's great you're thankful for your childhood. Hope you had a nice one.

  2. I've got a replica of an old map of Crete over the fireplace. No monsters at the edges!