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Contemporary Italian American Writing

ANTHONY S. MAULUCCI

TO MY DAUGHTER| JOVE’S COMPROMISE | CALLISTO'S REPROACH

Anthony S. Maulucci was born in Hartford in 1948 and grew up in suburban Connecticut. He has lived in Boston, Montreal, Toronto, and New York City. Mr. Maulucci worked in professional theatre and enjoyed a prominent career as a freelance writer before turning to college teaching in 1989. He has taught fiction writing and literature at the University of Hartford, Three Rivers College, and UCONN. In 1995, Mr. Maulucci founded an independent press<http://www.lorenzopress.com> to publish the work of Italian Americans who were marginalized or ignored by both mainstream publishers and other small presses. His first novel, The Discovery of Luminous Being, was published by Lorenzo Press in 1995, followed by Adriana’s Eyes and Other Stories in 1999. His new novel, The Rosselli Cantata, A Brief Family Chronicle, was released in March 2001. All for Love, Mr. Maulucci’s first poetry chapbook, was privately printed by Quiet City Books in 2000. He earned his B.A. with honors in English Literature from Charter Oak State College and his M.A. in Liberal Studies from Wesleyan University.He lives with his wife and two children in Southeastern Connecticut.

TO MY DAUGHTER

When does the soul enter the body?
The night you were conceived
I felt your spirit floating above us
like a cherub in Titian’s "Assumption,"
hovering over your human form
holding back to see if you were wished for,
if perhaps another man and woman
should be your life-bearers on the earthly plane.
I believe your spirit became flesh
on the night of your conception
that night in early December
with the breath of snow on the window panes,
the bottle of merlot emptied, the roast chicken eaten,
the candles still burning amidst the glass, silver, chinaware,
and an ecstasy of Mozart glorifying our abode --
this was one of a multitude of nights
yet this was the night you chose,
knowing you were wanted, hoped for, loved.
And afterwards I rose up exhilarated,
went to the window because I felt through the storm
the approach of your spirit turning the trees to wind chimes,
and saw in the radiance a transcendence of angels
passing the light of you from hand to hand
as they entrusted you to your earthly voyage.

JOVE’S COMPROMISE

Your fate is sad and bitter. I do pity you, Cal.
The earth is a lovely place but nature is cruel.
Sweet mortal, my actions were thoughtless, I admit,
but your own blood made you give in to me.
I am filled with sorrow for your human frailty,
but I am unable to undo what jealous Juno has wrought.
No god can undo what another has done.
Although I must obey certain laws of Nature,
I still have the power to make amends
by exalting you amidst the glory of the night skies
where for ages men will look at you
not with hunger but with wonder.

CALLISTO’S REPROACH

Do you see that my maidenly form is gone?
Here is my nose, a full six inches from my face
at the end of this clumsy whiskered snout.
And Jove, my hands have been turned to paws
with claws that rip the bark from trees.
These legs are not mine, they are short with heavy haunches.
How I yearn to run long-legged through the grass
with bow and quiver bouncing on my back,
to enter the marketplace and catch the hungry eyes of men.
You, the all-knowing god -- O Jove! Pity me!
I who was the hunter have become the hunted.
Restore me at once to the shape that made you love me.

Copyright © by Anthony S. Maulucci

. All rights reserved.

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