Poetry by Eleonora Calabrese
Impressions is a collection of poems that was first assembled by my father’s brother, Uncle Jack and given to family members. Eleonora, affectionately called Norie, was my great aunt. I am blessed to have known her and have been able to spend time with her when I was a child.
My Italian father, would ferry us each month to visit his mother and her sister Eleonora and his sister Maria, all of whom lived in the same family home together, always with a dog or two or three. It was not the original family home, but one that was a town or two over from my father’s birthplace. The Rhode Island land was our ground and the family and friends made it our home land.
The visits were always on Sunday. We would all gather round a large table and have a meal my Grandmother would have planned, prepared and served to us all. My Italian Grandmother, fun loving and providing for her family. I would have to say, this collection of Sundays shaped my life and showed me what families could do for each other, if only to gather and share food and be loved by one another in the moment.
Along with the monthly visits, each of us children, myself and two sisters, would have opportunity to spend an overnight or two. It was during such times that I had the opportunity to forge a relationship with my Aunt Norie and enjoy breakfast time with her.
We shared coffee and toast together. She would cut the toast into sixteen little squares, all buttered and glistening. The flavor so sweet. The crumbs, like gold in the plate. We’d dunk the toast and sip the coffee, swirling flavor of butter and bread on our tongues, as we shared conversation and thoughts of life and this and that.
She was a kind soul, a loving soul and my time with her was to very short to truly know her in the way I would have liked. Still, I remember her dearly and relish in the memories and thoughts of coffee with my Aunt Norie those few days, long ago.
Jack’s introduction and dedication follows. He speaks and ponders the privacy of her mind as she wrote, as she lived, as she loved her life, and as we loved her and always will.
Introduction by Jack Mellone
Eleonora lived from March 3rd, 1906 to January 27th 2001. She graduated from High School as a member of the Honor Society. She was in her 20’s when she composed most of the poems in Impressions. When Eleonora attempted to publish some of her works, she requested the use of a pseudonym, hence the absence of her surname here. The poetry of Eleonora is so rich with themes of nature that one would never guess her poetry was written in a three story tenement house in the city, where she lived with her parents, brother, two sisters, a dog and a parrot.
At the beginning of her adult life, a broken trust may have contributed to her agoraphobia that became more evident later in her life. There is a common thread that runs through Eleonora’s poetry that may have been born of depression. We will never know if these impressions resulted from a combination of real or imagined experiences. Such is the proprietary right of poetic license.
Dedication by Jack Mellone
To Eleonora, whose footprints in the sand are contained herein,
with the hope that you have found your escape.
The following page is a link to her collection of poems.