Poem 2

Carmen et error

For reasons never to made clear, the Imperial Government banished the poet Publius Ovidius Naso in C.E. 8. The pines of Rome were exchanged for the snowy firs of the Black Sea Coast. Exiled to Tomis, a remote village in what is now Romania, Ovid wrote Tristia, his lamenting autobiography. Augustus let Ovid take one good chair with him, probably realizing that the sight and sad comfort of it, would remind Ovid of all that he had lost – cruel salt in a mortal wound.

In spring, when poppies
sprang up in the fields of Italy,
in Tomis, the bears came out and roared.


Off The Coast, 2015