Catholic Poetry Room

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.

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About the Author

Tim Bete, ICL Poetry Curator To submit poetry to be considered for the Catholic Poetry Room, visit our submission guidelines page.

Tim Bete is Poetry Editor for IntegratedCatholicLife.org and always searching for the best Catholic poetry from today's poets as well as those of the past.

Tim's poetry has appeared in Presence: A Journal of Catholic Poetry, The Asketerion, and the Poet and Contemplative Blog of the Discalced Carmelite Friars (Province of St. Therese). His first book of poetry is The Raw Stillness of Heaven, of which one reviewer wrote, “If you are Catholic and think that you do not like poetry, this book will change your mind.”

Tim is former director of the national writers' workshop at the University of Dayton—a Catholic, Marianist university. He's a member of the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites (OCDS) and often trades poems with his oldest daughter, who is a Dominican Sister. He says she's the best writer in the family.

Tim's writing has also appeared in several editions of the Amazing Grace anthology series (Ascension Press), theChristian Science Monitor, Writer's Digest magazine, and numerous parenting magazines. His latest book is Wanderings of an Ordinary Pilgrim

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