This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Dana Gioia.
So much of what we live goes on inside—
The diaries of grief, the tongue-tied aches
Of unacknowledged love are no less real
For having passed unsaid. What we conceal
Is always more than what we dare confide.
Think of the letters that we write our dead.
And here’s a video of Dana reading his poem:
Dana Gioia is an internationally recognized poet, critic, and former Poet Laureate of California. He is the author of five collections of verse, including Interrogations at Noon (2001), which won the American Book Award, and 99 Poems: New & Selected (2016), which was awarded the Poets’ Prize. His critical collections include Can Poetry Matter? (1992), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Award, and The CatholicWriter Today and Other Essays (2019) whose title essay started an international debate about the role of faith in contemporary literature. Gioia has also written four opera libretti and edited over twenty anthologies. For six years he served as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. Gioia has been awarded 11 honorary doctorates. He has also received the Laetare Medal from Notre Dame, Aiken-Taylor Award in Modern Poetry, and Presidential Citizens Medal. He is currently the Judge Widney Professor of Poetry and Public Culture at the University of Southern California.
Unsaid first appeared in 99 Poems: New & Selected published by Graywolf Books.