News Preziosino Way IN THE CATHEDRAL



I push one of the grevi doors

and it falls behind me

the fury of the windy meriggio.

At slow steps I forward,

drinking the sudden shadow

in long beats

of tired eyelids:

sound like death things

hurled into a quiet water

that in tremulous breath reflects

from shore to shore

the gloomy echo of the thud.

Remiga the sadness to anchor

in arcane gulfs

of deep darkness;

row for a fabulous sea,

where are the pillars

trunks of a underwater pine forest,

alive and thick so

for distances without borders…

Burn in darkness

a shiny hedge of candles:

your eyes are fixed there


and the soul descends

from the remote immensities


in a knot of flames.

In front of the trembling bloom

who knows what divine breath


towards the smile of an ancient madonna,

a child is immotor.

Look, the little one, absorbed,

and of course he sees

in the chapel lit

a gorgeous christmas tree

to which are fronds

the diaphanous fingers of the candles.

Of course he dreams, the child,

that sian all balocchi

the crude blood glasses

in which he hesitates a pale light…

It’s in his big eyes.

the little life

and it all widens

in the heavenly immensity of the dream.

This leads to the uproar

of all my evil

in the rest of an ecstasy


and the soul finds its peace,

like a crazy leap of water

that subsides, meeting

the supreme stillness of the sea.

Milan, 3 March 1931


A kind of journey seems to be able to grasp in this lyric. From the beginning: perhaps only the fury of windy meriggio pushes Antonia to enter the cathedral. But it really is the fury of the wind or another fury, an irrepressible motion of the spirit in the search for a light, a truth or, more simply, a little peace, as he says in another poem of the same year, Largo “:… I’ll just go in / to have some respite/ and a bench and silence…” ?

Crossing the narrow doors marks the beginning of the journey, not so much physical, inside the cathedral, as within itself: a journey from darkness to light, from reality to dream, from the penalty of living to the conquest of peace, from an oppression of death to the reflowering of life.

The whole first verse winds through the metaphor-symbol of the shadow-water, punctuated on the predicates and some images that constantly refer to the water: drinking (v5), quiet water (v9), reflecting (v10), rowing (vv13 and 16), anchoring (v13), golfi (v14), fabulous sea (v16), diving pine forest (v18).

The eyes dazzled by the meridian sun and burned by the wind, instead of penetrating into the shadow of the basilica, penetrated from it and in an attempt to adapt the view to the sudden darkness, it seems to Antonia to drink that darkness, to absorb the shadow itself through the long beats / tired eyelids: it is the coolness that refreshes not only the eyes, but also the soul: that drinking, in a strong position, says the greed and pleasure of the thirsty who finds a spring or, more banally, but with no less enjoyment, a glass of fresh water for his own arsura. The long blinking of the eyelids makes you guess the long sips that come down to refresh the throat, regenerating the tired body and causing the blood to flow back into the veins. So the shadow-water takes on a positive connotation of rest and recovery.

Antonia’s footsteps, however, become dead things hurled into the shadow-water whose stillness fades and whose tremulous breathlessness repeats from shore to shore / the gloomy echo of the thud. Antonia masterfully recreates the sound sensations produced by the things that are slammed into the water and swallowed by it, with the hard and closed sounds, which follow one another in the words of this verse almost in onomatopoeic sequence and mussel against each other, turning off in the dull sound of the final word thud, thus emphasizing a state of anguish and unnamed despair. And, however, that is not the end result. In fact, death things are thrown into the water: there is, therefore, the will to get rid of them, to cut off the dead branches themselves: dreamed desires, lost dreams, disappointed hopes: down, forever, in the darkness of i don’t remember; severing, severing: hard will, in a windy meriggio, of a spirit that the wind of life has cracked and rekindled, but not to the point of preventing him from reacting, of attempting a rebirth. Now, shaken from the soul by the unbearable burden, sadness can sail through a fabulous sea, sink into deep darkness, disappear into the underwater pine forest of the temple columns, so that no trace remains of it: it is lost by distance without borders.

If the first stanza is all built on the metaphor of shadow-water, the second runs on the waves of light and fire: the shining hedge of candles means that the soul, from the remote immensities in which it was lost, descends and finds its concrete place and its new consistency in a knot of flames: it is life that rekindles, finds its warmth, its fire; indeed, three lives suddenly emerge from the darkness torn apart by the diaphanous fingers of the ceri: that of Antonia, now renewed, that of an ancient madonna and that of a child. The flames of the candles, which have become a serto of flowers in homage to our lady (trembling flowering), turn to illuminate her smile, so that now that smile is no longer vague, it is no longer anonymous, but is addressed to someone: it is a smile for Antonia, a smile for the child; and the smile is greeting, it is welcome, it is invitation, it is forgiveness, it is love, it is blessing.

Under this maternal smile, the two lives are now taking place: of the child and Antonia. The child dreams of a beautiful Christmas tree and that is not all bulwark / crude blood glass / in which a pale light hesitates. His gaze opens wide to chase the dream, which, precisely because I dream, can have no boundaries and all enchants it, as suggested by the two keywords that open and close the verses that describe it: absorbed (v.34), dream (v.46); now his little life is all in that look, in which the vast purity of the sky shines through. In the soul of that gaze, Antonia’s soul is lost and calmed down (in fact, the initial image of the quiet water – supreme stillness of the sea – returns and finds herself in ecstasy, like the child; but his is the ecstasy flourished by the inner emptying from the dead things, which tumultuated in his spirit and which he had the courage to cast into the shadow-water for borderless distances, to burn on a shiny hedge of candles.

Sister Onorina

With the wish to all readers to find the same courage, under the smile of Our Lady. She offers us a Child, the only one who can give us the ecstasy of peace.

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