she who makes the moon the moon

My return was sweet, my home refound, but my thoughts were filled only with grief at having lost her, and my eyes gazed at the moon, forever beyond my reach, as I sought her. And I saw her. She was there where I had left her, lying on a beach directly over our heads, and she said nothing. She was the color of the Moon; she held the harp at her side and moved one hand now and then in slow arpeggios. I could distinguish the shape of her bosom, her arms, her thighs, just as I remembered them now, just as now, when the moon has become that flat, remote circle, I still look for her as soon as the first sliver appears in the sky, and the more it waxes, the more clearly I imagine I can see her, her or something of her, but only her, in a hundred, a thousand different vistas, she who makes the Moon the Moon and, whenever she is full, sets the dogs to howling all night long, and me with them.

Italo Calvino, 'The Distance of the Moon,' translated by William Weaver.

Colter Jacobsen, One drawn from a photograph, one drawn from memory.


  1. that is such an amazingly beautiful passage..... i think i need to read that..... i think u are my favourite blog on the internet! x x

  2. Lauren, I love, love Italo Calvino. this is so funny -- I am home in NJ where I grew up and was going through my old books and came across Difficult Loves, which was the first book of short stories I ever read in college before I actually ended up a creative writing major... so lovely... I think I shall reread :) hope to see you in LA soon xox Dana

  3. Have you listened to this reading? http://www.radiolab.org/blogs/radiolab-blog/2013/apr/16/distance-of-moon/