Published on Academy of American Poets (

Return to Florence

How do I convey the shoring gold
at the core of the Florentine bells’
commingled chimes?

Vast as a suddenly revealed
field of wheat,
that up-and-away gold
is equivalent to the match-burst
morning I returned,
intent as doubting Thomas,
to my old classroom terrace,
open to the showy, blue yes
of the bustling Arno,
to my timeless, sun-laved
Basilica of Santo Spirito,
and discovered
ebullient citizens reciting,
at a hundred different posts,
the same unbetraying passage
of Dante’s Paradise.


Copyright © 2014 by Cyrus Cassells. Used with permission of the author.

About this Poem

“This poem is a short joyous celebration of my return to my Italian language school in Florence, after 21 years, only to discover an amazing, in-progress celebration of Dante. There was definitely an air of hometown pride and ‘local boy makes good’ that made this group recitation (with some folks in the flowing red robes of the revered poet)
both a magical and a moving occasion.”
Cyrus Cassells


Cyrus Cassells

Winner of a Lambda Literary Award in Poetry for Beautiful Signor, Cyrus Cassells was born in 1957 in Dover, Delaware.

Date Published: 2014-11-19

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