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Paper-Whites for Lady Jane: Poems of Midlife Love Affair

by Louis Daniel Brodsky

A Part of History

So much history lingers in this city
That I feel like a kid on a scavenger hunt
Whenever I take to its sidewalks or streets.
Just today, returning from Cambridge,
Accidentally exiting the "T" at Government Crossing,
Janie and I found ourselves near Filene’s,
Briefly disoriented,
Overshadowed by high finance’s obelisks.
By degrees, we reached the Old State House,
Then headed down to the harbor,
Where our hotel marks the start of the Long Wharf.

It’s hard to get lost in Boston:
Although only ghosts, both patriots and redcoats
(Adams, Hancock, Revere, Gage, Burgoyne, Howe)
Keep making their nearness felt,
Just as landmarks like Faneuil Hall
And the Old North Church
Continue to remind us of their perpetuity.
This very minute, sitting on a bench at wharf’s end,
Kissing each other in extended embrace,
My love and I, as the British did,
Enter this city’s history for a few fiery heartbeats.

Use the player below to listen to Louis Daniel Brodsky read this poem.



This sequel to Forever, for Now follows the second year of a romance between two middle-aged lovers, mixing erotic poems with those depicting memorable events they share (attending symphonies, going to the zoo, gardening, listening to jazz, traveling and sightseeing, celebrating holidays) as they journey from passion to the deepening, mellowing affection and intimacy of their new life together. Their growing love is highlighted by a gentle sensuousness, perhaps uncommon to many of us today, that is symbolized by the story’s pervasive paper-whites, an exotically scented variety of narcissus, to which the pair devotedly tend.


This exquisite masterpiece of modern poetry, a product of genuine talent, provides hope for the future by renewing our faith in mankind. Remember Brodsky, for sure!
— Denys Viat, author of Les Amoreaux du Printemps and Un Monde en Marge

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