October 3, 2011

Rome Travel Books by Lori Lipsky

Lead tourists to a museum near the Spanish Steps
maintained by those who revere the words
of the respected poet, John Keats.

Travellers fly to breathe where Keats wrote,
to view the room where he died of
consumption at twenty-five.

They walk the uneven floor,
see his masks of life and death,
labor to unveil more of him between the two events.

They witness the once-burned bed, the shelves of books,
the reliquary of hair, the images of Severn, of Fanny, of friends,
though plants grow over all of them now.

Still visitors find they cannot know him
more than reader knows writer
which is, at times, not enough.

Lori Lipsky lives in the Midwest, near Madison, Wisconsin and has worked as a music teacher and choir director for much of her adult life. Her poems have recently appeared in Penwood Review and Pegasus Review.


  1. this is a wonderful poem- makes me want to know more about Keats and especially males me want to visit Rome!
    Thank you Lori Lipsky- I hope to read more from you!

  2. I'd love to "breathe where Keats wrote!"
    Your poem makes me long to learn more about this man who left his post so tragically young. I'll be watching for more of your works, Lori.

  3. This poem resonates strongly with me, as I have been to the very place and lived the poem.