Poem introduction

The fourth sequence in Dante's Heaven is called 'Love is a Babe', a sequence of poems around Beatrice's voice.

Someone kissed me

Someone kissed me ―
Is it blood or lipstick
on my cheek?

Was it a thought
brushed past me
or a moth's wing

but there, those scarlet stains
on my skin, my white dress.
I walk the Lungarno

near the Ponte Sante Trinità.
He's evaporated
into the crowd

How shall I ever know him again
beyond this touch
and he so pure?

from Dante's Heaven (Puriri Press, 2006), copyright © Jan Kemp 2006, used by permission of the author


Jan Kemp

Jan Kemp Reading from her Poems


2Hexandra in recess

3Master of Ceremonies

4Poem for R A K Mason (1905 - 1971)

5Night Poem

6Old Railway Guard

7Turkey Talk

8In golden smock, walking

9Down the first road

10West Coast town


12Walking a beach


14Melanion on the waterfront

15Chagall windows, Fraumunster, Zurich

16To my father, M.H.K.

17Hong Kong sounds

18The other hemisphere

19The dance of hemispheres

20Father's metamorphosis

21Sky crosses, Singapore

22At Kikowhakerere Bay

23The terrible angel


25Song of Noah's wife

26The Ballad of Donna Quixote


28Wedding / Naming / Bells

29Snow or Alles ist klar


31Crux Australis - Te Paki o Autahi - Southern Cross

32Dante's 'heaven'

33'We are all newcomers'

34Our Paradise

35'Naked ladies' near Otama Beach, Coromandel Peninsula

36A pukeko's trip south


38Bowl spoon table

39Best friends

40A childhood secret


42On news of a poet's death: I II IV

43Someone kissed me

44E la selva oscura, non c'e?

45He reads his poem aloud

46Being Beatrice


48crossing fields

49Swiss apple

50Cornish hymn

51on Shepherd's Hill

52blasted harvest

53Millet's L'Angelus

54Red Lamp

55Sue sewing