The Bigness of Small Poems – # 42 in a Series – Patrizia Cavalli’s Honeyed Dome

Italian Poet Patrizia Cavalli

What is lost is returned to me,
what is far away is near me today,
Whether you’re here, wherever you are, doesn’t matter today,
today I am held within a honeyed dome
that dampens and mingles the surging skein
of sounds. I am inside
and the outside enters me.

Patrizia Cavalli, trans.J.D. McClatchy, from my poems won’t change the world, Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2013

I leave for Italy and La Romita School of Art today! My ten day generative poetry writing retreat – Catching Fire – Writing en Plein Air – begins Thursday. I send out, as Annie Lamott would say, travelling mercies to all my retreatants as they their way to Rome in the next few days.

And by way of celebrating the upcoming retreat I feature this lovely meditative poem by Italian poet Patrizia Cavalli who was born in Todi not far away from where we will be in Terni, Umbria.

Cavalli’s poem wonderfully reorients me into my day! Especially good for a big travel day. When I read this poem I think of Virginia Wolfe’s expression: a daily miracle. This poem fits that bill. That moment when a profound unity and peace enters us. Might not, usually doesn’t, last that long but what a powerful place to live in side while we are in it.

What a sense of wholeness Cavalli creates in her poem. The utter isness of it. And she does it with such ease it seems: What is lost is returned to me,/ what is far away is near me today. And then the ending:

…………….I am inside
and the outside enters me.

My hope for my retreat that we will all share many moments of being inside and allowing the outside to enter! In that order. And from that place may many meaningful poems be born! And for those of you reading this from wherever you are may you find a honeyed dome moment in your day to day!

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