Valeria Melchioretto’s The End of Limbo

Papal Blessings
Valeria Melchioretto
Airship Italia left Spitzbergen on 23rd of May, 1928
Hermetically-sealed matchboxes couldn’t save the holy mission,
sanctioned by Pope Pius XI to bless the very tip of the Pole.
One morning in May, the Zeppelin reached that point
where meridians touch like segments of a forbidden fruit.
The crew threw out a blessed crucifix, some coins and a flag.
It showered the snow below like a Pentecostal sacrament.
They dumped all that was sacred upon the melting desert.
On their way south the airship crashed. Mayday signals
came out of the blue, stirred only silence and vanished.
They thought to be prepared for anything but never used
their ice axes. The windproof-overalls were worn by the wind
and the life jackets saved no one’s life. The Finnish shoes
didn’t carry them to Finland. After the virtuous artefacts
fell out of the window they clearly said adieu to salvation.
from The End of Limbo (Salt Publishing, 2007)
Read more about Valeria and The End of Limbo here.
Read Angel Dahouk’s Poetry Society interview with Valeria.

4 thoughts on “Valeria Melchioretto’s The End of Limbo

  1. christine

    She really packs a lot into a few lines. Very adept use of language, and tight storytelling. Plus the weaving in of all the religious imagery. I love this line:

    It showered the snow below like a Pentecostal sacrament.

  2. Pascale

    Thanks for posting this Michelle, I’m a big fan of Valeria’s work, she has such a luxuriant expansive imagination. She’s been to many of my workshops over the years and what a pleasure it was to work with her.

  3. Jo

    Wonderful imagery here……Mayday signals
    came out of the blue, stirred only silence and vanished; fabulous.

  4. Julie

    Yes, I agree with everyone. What a wonderful storytelling ability. I love it.

    I love your new header, too. Beautiful!!

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