The title says it all...
(Poem #238) Romance
When I was but thirteen or so I went into a golden land, Chimborazo, Cotopaxi Took me by the hand. My father died, my brother too, They passed like fleeting dreams, I stood where Popocatapetl In the sunlight gleams. I dimly heard the master's voice And boys far-off at play, --- Chimborazo, Cotopaxi Had stolen me away. I walked in a great golden dream To and fro from school --- Shining Popocatapetl The dusty streets did rule. I walked home with a gold dark boy And never a word I'd say, Chimborazo, Cotopaxi Had taken my speech away. I gazed entranced upon his face Fairer than any flower --- O shining Popocatapetl It was thy magic hour: The houses, people, traffic seemed Thin fading dreams by day; Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, They had stolen my soul away!
An unabashedly romantic poem (don't say you weren't warned!), and not a very good one - the imagery is uninspired, the prosody unremarkable, the theme ordinary. And yet... for some reason (no doubt measureless to man) it's one of those poems which stick in the memory. I remember reading it when I was very young; I rediscovered it last year, and the magic still remains. The key ingredient of the spell is, of course, the evocativeness  of the place names. The poem is carried by the effect of the simple yet beautiful refrain - 'Chimborazo, Cotopaxi'. (and the equally nice counterpoint 'Popocatapetl'). And indeed, place names in general do tend to conjure up wonderful images - think of Samarkand and Byzantium, Troy and Carthage, Timbuktu and Tokyo, the Khyber Pass and the Oregon Trail, the Silk Road and the Sahara... Turner was merely the first poet to make explicit use of this particular form of magic in such a direct fashion. thomas.  There it is, that word again. If I had a penny for every time I've used it on the Minstrels... [Links] A similar poem is Joyce Kilmer's 'Trees' - nothing remarkable, but it sticks in your mind. You can read it at poem #146