Maria Pia Marchelletta

Poet, Author, Translator

My Published Books

 I am very proud of my first full-length poetry book which I launched in December of 2009. It is 82 pages and is published by In Our Words Inc.


Maria Cappa’s poetry fascinates with the wealth of its subject matter, presented in a strikingly original style. The poet knows how to compassionately describe everyday occurences of our incipient millennium with all its dangers to the common man, as well as present the intimate depths of her spiritual life, often in a unique osmosis with the surrounding nature. Her rich diction, her surprising similes and methaphors come as a genuine artistic adventure to the reader. Conscious of the uniqueness of her expression, the poet writes: ‚To be understood or no to be understood this is my dilemma.‘ Indeed, as her poetry does not glide over the surface of events or get entangled in meaningless details, but aims at grasping the complex essence of human existence, often so infinitely difficult. Even so optimism does not abandon the poet, and she frequently ends her poems in a note of hope, hope elevated to the supreme heights by her belief in the inalienable world of the spirit.

Dr Irena Harasimowicz-Zarzecka


Foreword by Professor Han

             Modern poetry tends to forget the teleological raison d’être of primal and pure poetry.  Since most poets focus on the literariness of social realism or theoretical ideas, even lyric-oriented poetry tends to furnish only meager effect for the diseased or the agonized.  Probably because of the social context of practical politics and loss of innocence or pure mind, they purposefully tend to shun away from the genuine life of truth, goodness, beauty, or righteousness.  In many ways, they have already given up the literary passion pursuant to pure truth and true greatness.  Most of them sacrifice their innocent minds to life’s pleasures and voracious profits, which may be considered as virtues in other disciplines except for literature or lyrics.  Here is one literary poet who dares to charge against such herculean waves of the literary river.

            She seems to talk silently but firmly that the true poetic world lies in the bright sublimity and mysterious profundity of life.  She seems to turn to the poetic beauty of the Supreme Being, religiously-tinged, but refreshing in abstraction itself. She wants us to trace back to such a pure literary world, resultantly shedding off the language-oriented poetry, post-modernistic poetry, realistic, street poetry, or abstract metaphysical self-complacency.

            She proposes how to regain such a loss of classical lyricism and romantic idealism, which might be beyond our attainment in this practical and realistic paradigm. Her courageous poetic attitude leads her to undertake such a misfortune to delve into the traditional aesthetics. She is keenly aware and recognizes precisely and vividly the literariness from her Italian roots. She depicts human torts, suffered from literary neurasthenia and real politics: They are to experience such misfortune itself in body and spirit, nothing else, and express things in her literary media, pure poetry, since there is no outward salvation or spiritual hand.  He believes in her human amour and holy spirituality.

            She knows the terse beauty of word choice, line length, flow of poetic mind and symbolic imagery.  She awakens the dead silence, fog-rising out of grey with a bright wording bed, deep through the vista of her Italian garden lined up with many white plaster figures. I can feel her literary restlessness, deep in her poetry where she draws out her poetic wonders implicitly but precisely.

            There might be poetic conflicts between forgetting and refinding, i.e. forgetting her old, traditional self-pride and refinding her new identities in a new country. Such conflicts or paradoxes could be said to be the general dichotomic phenomena of immigrant descendants in the context of culture and life philosophy, which extend to the poetic ideas, such as classical poetics and new one, lyrics and innovative poetry, ideas and feeling, pleasure of new findings, and sorrow of old failures.  However, more in depth, they reflect her trilling agony, in her whole range of poems, not to grasp firmly and definitely her own writing conneisseurship to mine out and fill in her virtuosity or dainty artistry.

            Throughout my reading and reviewing of her poetry, I have wondered if I could find and reason any coherent cultural traits or poetic features out of the few fragments that have survived in the chaos/confusions of the modern Western world as frankly reflected in her poetry.  How much is her parental culture salvaged in her poetry?  To what degree is her mother’s culture in her living room integrated into Maria’s contemporary Canadian life?  How does her Roman Catholicism wield its gripping power into her poetic undercurrents? She might be a late bloomer of two different cultures:  so, her emotional and intellectual profoundness come to my attention.

            I often times feel the physical courage of old Roman soldiers and the mental ingenuity of the Italian Renaissance, with which her ancestors or extended families might have confronted their difficult lives on the soil and in the spirit. I also detect the religious currents of Catholicism in her poetic nunnery, serene but steady in her poetic salvation.  Quite naturally, her poetry book is an imaginative, classical, and daring book:  it is imaginative in the sense of her own language dexterity, classical in her cultivating the old Roman life and tradition, and daring in her seeing the unaccustomed ways of Renaissance women’s artistic life and spirit.

            Her poetry substantiates two conflicting sentimentalities, not so much bi-polarized but simmering in hesitation, tilting, anxiety, sometimes some kind of intellectualization or rationalization which seem to come from her academic culture and education.  Her poetry comes fundamentally and temperamentally from the Mediterranean azure warmth and artisanship, not from the lashing icy snowstorms and food-hunting hardship in Canada.  Her calm and mild streaks of poetic weather, bright not blight, come from the former sunshine.  Her condensed intellectual artisanship, green but glacial, glistening but gaudy, may grow from the latter snow.

            My major interest and focus is on the inexorable relationship between the two forms/elements of expression (Italian and Canadian) and how they represent themselves interleaved with one another. Of course, all great poetry displays some (mostly unconscious or automatic, self-contained) evidence or self-confirmation in their own words.  However, her radical positive peninsula and her feminine negative bay coexist in her entire poetics. I can sense her connective leaps in her poetic imagination, connective in the lineage, leaps in disintegration and new adaptations into her Canadian life.  What are her connective leaps and leaping connectives, or disintegrative connections or connective disintegrations, or adaptive differences or different adaptations?

            Her writing style seems classical at first glance as many aspects of meaning are hidden and not revealed as easily as expected from her subtle passages of myths and imagery of her own cultural background. Her images and ideas beckon me to share with the Roman Empire world and existence, not through their reason but through their myths and stories.  I find her belief in the artistic world, her sculpture—like artistry in poetry, not in poetics.  I discern that a cumulative scheme of typical Italian manners linger interrelated effectively in her poetry.

            In the end, her strength and subtlety emerge to naturally bring forth her own sensibility and imagination. She expresses the stark moments of spiritual enlightenment or self-finding moments of her own poetic world as all great poets have confronted the deepest embodiment of truth, visions, poetic envisioning in their own way. Her ingenious words create an esthetical and spiritual poetry which evokes admiration as well as surprise.

Tae Ho Han

Professor of Literature, Han Yang University

Seoul, Korea






My poetry is featured in this anthology of both prose and poetry by emerging Canadian writers many of whom are members of the Writers and Editors Network (WEN). This anthology was launched in August, 2009 and published by Bookland Press.




Nocturnal Laments by Maria Pia Marchelletta (a.k.a Lady Elisabeth Viscount), Beret Days Press, 24 pages.

Josie DiSciascio-Andrews: Review

 If art is the exploration of that liminal space between  conscious and unconscious awareness, this beautiful collection

of poetry perfectly gives voice to the mystery of the interior journey. In Nocturnal Laments, the poet dives deep within the primordial well of the soul, re-emerging to the surface with  mystical, poetic symbols of great beauty. In delving into the center of her deeply emotional metaphors, she transmutes the reality of pain , bestowing redemptive meaning to life's incomprehensible suffering. Between tangible reality and the desires of the heart, such a fine line veils the separation and yet, how strong is the pull of the invisible undercurrent.

   In Nocturnal Laments, Lady Elizabeth Viscount explores the dark, arduous landscape of physical and emotional pain. The waters of this poetic netherworld are 'scoriaceous', 'inexplicable', 'endless.' Through the poetic act however, a certain order is restored and 'from unknown sources', 'beyond the darkness' the poet achieves 'a metamorphosis of the spirit.' Suffering is redeemed and 'crystalline light' appears finally, crowning the suffering soul's 'desolate journey' with spiritual revelation.

   Nocturnal Laments is a profoundly poetic expression of the human spirit besieged by existential suffering. Through the reworking of this very sorrow however, the poet creates new meaning, thus entering into a higher plane of awareness. This is the realm of the alchemist, the poet in its truest sense, the shamanic visionary. From chaos to precious crystals, Nocturnal Laments is a collection of precious pearls born from the sediments of tears.

   In this book of poems Lady Elizabeth Viscount extracts light from the darkest places. Reading this beautiful compilation of poems took me on a voyage into the mysteries of the heart. It was as if the cellar door to the darkest abyss of all sorrow and fear suddenly snapped open into a secret passageway to the other side of concrete things, revealing 'the incandescent light of the divine' . In the end the poet is ravished by ‘a vermilion light’ emanating beyond ‘the valley of darkness’ and a ‘timeless horizon’ opens up flooding light onto a new ‘path to eternity.‘.

This collection of poems is a must read for anyone interested in transforming brokenness into precious beauty.


written by Josie DiSciascio-Andrews BA, BED, MA

May 2008





 This is Maria's latest book titled Journey of the Soul or Sentieri dell'Anima in Italian. It features a collection of poems in both Italian and English.