Isles of the Amazons

Joaquin Miller

Far up in the hush of the Amazon River,
And mantled and hung in the tropical trees,
There are isles as grand as the isles of seas.
And the waves strike strophes, and keen reeds quiver,
As the sudden canoe shoots past them and over
The strong, still tide to the opposite shore,
Where the blue-eyed men by the sycamore
Sit mending their nets 'neath the vine twined cover;
Sit weaving the threads of long, strong grasses;
They wind and they spin on the clumsy wheel,
Into hammocks red-hued with the cochineal,
To trade with the single black ship that passes,
With foreign old freightage of curious old store,
A cunning old trader that loves to creep
Cautious and slow in the shade of the shore.
And the blue-eyed men that are mild as the dawns
Oh, delicate dawns of the grand Andes!
Lift up soft eyes that are deep like seas,
And mild yet wild as the red-white fawns';
And they gaze into yours, then weave, then listen,
Then look in wonder, then again weave on,
Then again look wonder that you are not gone,
While the keen reeds quiver and the bent waves glisten;
But they say no word while they weave and wonder,
Though they sometimes sing, voiced low like the dove,
And as deep and as rich as their tropical love,
A-weaving their net threads through and under.


Poetry Atlas has many other poems about Brazil.

Main Location:

Manaus, State of Amazonas, Brazil

Other locations:

Islands in the Amazon River, Brazil

Creative Commons image by James Martins.