Sunday, March 29, 2009


The Nina Remembers Columbus

Three sisters, but I was the one he loved best.

His wife? She may have borne him a son
but I taught him to swim in possibility.
I baptized him in a hundred oceans
and introduced him to the New World.

He favored me, ask anyone.
Voyage after voyage we sailed, my ropes
taut in his hands, his boots claiming my deck,
his voice a booming song to lift my sails.

For him, I conquered warring currents,
discovered Cuba and placed him upon her shore,
delivered him from the eye of a hurricane.
And when he dropped anchor

I did not cry like the open-mouthed gulls.
I counted each bruising stroke as he rowed
away in his launch, then waited for his return
with the patience of wood.

My sisters, they meant nothing to me.

- Irene Latham

Here's another poem in the historical women series -- one that also appears in the Einstein anthology. One way I've found to liven this series up is to choose to write the poems from an odd viewpoint. And since ships are always female, I figured the Nina was fair game.

I'll be back tomorrow with a report about my awesome weekend in Florence, including the names of two new victims I've chosen for the continuation of the historical women series. (See, writers simply MUST travel! It's totally inspiring.)

“There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.”

- Robert Louis Stevenson


  1. I love the poem, Irene. What is the historical women series that you speak of?

  2. Susan, it's a series I started that includes women who were attached to more famous men... I just thought they needed a voice. I will either make a full-length collection out of the series, or at least a section in a collection. I have really enjoyed learning about these women. Thanks for asking!


Your thoughts?