Dispatches from Italy #2: Le Oscurità

Buongiorno, readers, and welcome to the second installment of poems composed by the student poets of G.B. Vico Junior High School in Grosseto, Italy. In our first post, we shared poems that touched on the theme of “clarity,” as students explored how they experience truth in the world. We turn now to poems that explore clarity’s opposite, obscurity, or le oscurità. The term “obscurity” indicates something that is unknown or difficult to understand.

In these poems, the writers show us how to think with confusion, not knowing, and doubt. They help us sit with uncertainty as they probe the shadows of their minds and the world around them. Gioele invites us into obscurity as the sun sets and the “depth of the night” consumes our attention. Then, in “Control of myself,” Alessandro shares how darkness can hold vulnerability, where the speaker can admit the difficulties in how they see themself. Ginevra takes up this thread in “The Mirror,” in which the speaker observes their flaws in their reflection and realizes that “in those gloomy eyes / I could find myself.” Riccardo and Sofia describe similar experiences of solitude and self-examination in “Alone” and “I Am.” The set closes with Tommaso’s “The Path,” which turns to nature and the sky once again as spaces where the presence of darkness and unknowing are not abnormal – rather, obscurity is part of the whole cycle. It is here, within the dusk, that Tommaso suggests we may still find a path to carry us forward. In sitting with obscurity – as lonely and confusing and uncertain as it may be – we may come to better understand, or at least be able to be with, our deepest selves.


The Sky
Gioele L.
The sky falls down on the house,
the sun gets dark
and brings along the depth of the night.


Control of Myself
Alessandro T.
I reached the dark eye
of the deep end.
My soul is getting weak
a heart in my hand.
I cannot fight against myself
I can’t even stand up, and take control.


The Mirror
Ginevra C.
Looking at myself in the mirror
I feel observed.
Talk, watch
listen and touch
an imperfect smile,
a real flaw?
In those gloomy eyes
I could find myself
and I was crying.
Fireflies, butterflies
yellow, red and green,
catching them is hard
but if you catch one, you will never be defeated.

But motionless I am, opposite the mirror
Staring at my own flaws.


Riccardo C.
I am alone in my room
nobody knows me
I feel sad,
wet and salty tears on my face
I am who I am.


I Am…
Sofia F.
I am shy, sad, sensitive
I wonder who loves me,
I hear people talking behind my back
I think I am ugly
I want to change,
I am shy, sad, sensitive.


The Path
Tommaso M.
All covered with snow
at the foot of the mountain.
Up above the grey sky
loses its color,
as the sun goes down.



“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.