she walks in beauty,
my mother

Wild purple poppy on Flickr

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow’d to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impair’d the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

~ Lord Byron

Inside a wild purple poppy on Flickr

Thank you, Mom, for teaching me grace, kindness, and, above all, love.

Happy Birthday! Can’t wait to see you!

32 Beans of Wisdom to “she walks in beauty,
my mother”
  1. Beautiful poem….happy birthday to your Mom!! When is she coming? Has she been to Calabria before?

    nyc/caribbean ragazza’s last blog post..Red tape, Spaghetti All’amatriciana, a nice tub

    She’ll be here in June, and yes she’s been to Calabria once before when I first moved here–the only thing we’ve planned to do so far is actually a lot of cooking/baking experiments of all things πŸ˜‰

  2. 04.29.2008

    That was beautiful, Michelle. Makes me miss my mom even more. I haven’t seen her since Sept/06… πŸ™
    I’m excited for you, thinking of all the fun you two will have together!

    Giulia’s last blog post..Time Stood Still

    Missing mom is tough, I know; last time I saw mine was June 2004! Luckily we talk on the phone just about every day, but still, I’m *so* looking forward to spending time together πŸ™‚

  3. 04.29.2008

    Auguri. Beautiful post. You must be so thrilled about her visit! I will be seeing my mama in July, in Colombia. Enjoy her company!

    Beatriz’s last blog post..The future of the planet

    Thanks Beatriz! Enjoy your mom too πŸ™‚

  4. Joanne

    Have a wonderful time with your Mom, how great that she’s coming!

    Joanne’s last blog post..Food pop culture 1

    Thanks Joanne πŸ™‚

  5. 04.29.2008

    Happy Birthday, Michelle’s Mom. I can’t wait to meet (you) either!!

    Cherrye’s last blog post..Travel Tip Tuesday

    Soon! Soon!

  6. 04.29.2008

    Very nice poem and timely as a reminder…Mother’s Day approaches.

    Peter’s last blog post..Kokoretsi (?????????)

    Yes Peter, it’s coming up! Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

  7. 04.29.2008

    Well, I’m impressed! I know for sure that my beloved girlchild has never thought of one of the great romantic poems of the western world and me in the same thought. Not complaining, because said girlchild is just the best and very good to me, but I’ve just never inspired such classic references.

    Judith in Umbria’s last blog post..Rewind: antipasto

    Now Judith, you can’t know that for sure, for sure. I’ve always loved this poem, but when I was thinking of something to post for my mom, it popped in my head, and I knew it was perfect πŸ™‚

  8. 04.29.2008

    Beautiful tribute to your mom. I know it’s not the same as Byron but I can’t wait to hear my daughter recite her Mother’s Day poem at the top of her voice. “Cara Mamma!” Always turns me to mush.

    Linda’s last blog post..Madamism and other random thoughts

    Aw, I hope you make a video for us πŸ™‚

  9. 04.29.2008

    Aw, that was sweet. Happy birthday to your mom!

    That poem always reminds me of Dead Poets Society.

    Stefanie’s last blog post..Oh good! More complaining. And also, a riddle. Yay.

    Thanks–and the DPS reference is just bonus πŸ˜‰

  10. 04.29.2008

    What a lovely tribute to your mom!

    Devon Ellington’s last blog post..Tuesday, April 29, 2008

    Thanks Devon πŸ™‚

  11. SabineM

    What a beautiful poem! Happy Birthday to Michelle’s mom!
    April birthdays are the best! πŸ˜‰

    We have another one coming tomorrow Sabine πŸ˜‰

  12. Rosa (something...)

    Best wishes to your Mom. All the more poignant, as only last week mine passed away a victim of breast cancer. We spent most of my years a world away as she lived in Australia, but she had her whole family around her in her last moments in this life as she waited for me to see her again before she died. Best Mum in the world and nicest person you could ever wish to meet.
    So glad that you can spend time with yours again. The distance makes you appreciate her even more.
    Lovely poem and the fragile beauty of the poppy is most appropriate.

    Thank you so much for sharing this Rosa; you remind us that we all need to appreciate those still with us each and every day. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    Incidentally I noticed your comment came in at 4:29 on 4/29 πŸ™‚

  13. Sally

    That is a lovely poem and a lovely post.

    To Rosa: you left a beautiful message, I send you very best wishes.

    Thank you Sally.

  14. 04.29.2008

    Reading your post and all these comments has made me go all misty, Mums, eh, you’ve got to love em!

    amanda’s last blog post..The birds and the bees

    So true Amanda!

  15. 04.29.2008

    Beautiful adage Michelle! And birthday blessings to your mom. πŸ™‚

    Laurie’s last blog post..“Swordfish MΓ©daillons”

    Thanks Laurie!

  16. 04.29.2008

    That’s great Michelle…. Happy birthday to your mom. My mom is heading your way in July to see her mom! Speaking of mom’s…. I better get a card. πŸ™‚

    Joe’s last blog post..Roman Holiday – 1976

    Moms all over the place! Woohoo!

  17. Michelle, that is one of my favorite poems of all time. It has been set to beautiful music by many composers and I’ve been fortunate to have performed many of them. What a fitting tribute to your mother. She taught you very well!

    Susan at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy,Chewy’s last blog post..Tuesdays with Dorie: Fluted Polenta and Ricotta Cake

    I am sure you performed those pieces beautifully! Would be so wonderful to hear them. And thanks Susan πŸ™‚

  18. 04.29.2008

    tanti auguri a tua mamma!!! i just bet you are counting the days til her arrival! (D. says happy b-day to her too!)

    qualcosa di bello’s last blog post..a nice, soft landing…

    Thanks QDB and D πŸ™‚ Yes the countdown is on!

  19. Paula

    Happy Birthday Mary!!! That’s so awesome that your mom is coming to see you. And June is so close… have a great visit. How long is she staying?? Sure wish I could be a “witness” to the visit. I would love to be the official taster for whatever it is that you two will be cooking, baking, etc. I have personally tasted your mother’s cookies, even helped make some. And your recipes/pictures of food, well, they speak for themselves. Enjoy!!

    She’ll be here for a whole month Paula! Woohoo! Wish you could be here too…we’d get a lot of cookies made for sure πŸ˜‰ Thanks for the good wishes!

  20. 04.29.2008

    Happy Birthday to your mother! The poem is lovely…I hope you have a wonderful visit!

    sadira’s last blog post..How Do You…

    Thank you Sadira!

  21. 04.29.2008

    happy birthday, bleeding espresso’s mom! and with one of the loveliest poems, to boot.

    michelle @ TNS’s last blog post..Spring Lamb By Way of Italy By Way of My Ass

    Thanks Michelle!

  22. 04.30.2008

    Buon Compleanno to your Mom πŸ˜‰

    I bet her upcoming visit with you is going to be her *best* present ever!!!!

    My Melange’s last blog post..What’s new and exciting at My Melange?

    Thanks Robin; we’re both very much looking forward to it πŸ™‚

  23. 04.30.2008

    Ohhhh… a June visit! Woohoooo! You must be very excited Michelle!

    Hope you’re mother had a fabulous birthday!

    Dory’s last blog post..21 Suggestions for Success

    So, so, so excited Dory…it’s almost like my own vacation is coming up πŸ˜‰

  24. 04.30.2008

    Happy birthday!! What a lovely tribute to her.

    susiej’s last blog post..Batman rides again

    Thanks Susie πŸ™‚

  25. 04.30.2008

    Beautiful poem.
    I so relate to your relationship with your mom, as I adore my mother also. I thank my mom for the same wonderful gifts.
    When is your mom coming? This is exciting news.
    I can’t wait for you both.

    cheeky’s last blog post..she spreads joy

    Mom’s coming in the beginning of June and will be here for a month! Woohoo!

  26. 04.30.2008

    So sweet! Happy Birthday to your Mom!

    Shan’s last blog post..spreading some linky love #14

    Thanks Shan πŸ™‚

  27. 04.30.2008

    So lovely. She has to be wonderful to have a daughter like you! Happy Birthday to your Mama Bella! (Totally improvising there with the Italian) (heh)

    You done good Nino! And thanks πŸ™‚

  28. 04.30.2008

    Happy Birthday to your mom! And what a lovely tribute, both visually and verbally!

    jen of a2eatwrite’s last blog post..What’s Cooking Wednesday: Simple Breads 2 – Crusty Bread

    Thank you Jen πŸ™‚

  29. 04.30.2008

    What a beautiful poem for the occasion. My all-time favorite poem by Byron.

    Billy’s last blog post..Bike Ride Around America

    Mine too Billy πŸ™‚

  30. 04.30.2008

    Simply beautiful! Happy Birthday to your mom! I know you’re going to have a fantastic month enjoying each other’s company! I’m so excited for you! πŸ˜€

    Karina’s last blog post..The New Kids are coming…The New Kids are coming…

    Thanks Karina! I can’t wait!

  31. 05.02.2008

    Oh, that is so sweet! I especially like the tribute in the last three lines. I always think of this poem as a romantic offering to some object of lust or other, ’cause, you know, it’s bad ol’ Byron, but how nice to be able to apply that compliment in particular to your mother, and how lovely of you to think of it. (The photos are beautiful, too.)

    Thanks Sara. I’ve always seen this poem as a kind of innocent admiration, so for me it fit well. Especially since my mom has raven hair…or at least she used to (sssh) πŸ˜‰

  32. 05.02.2008

    Love that poem, love Lord Byron, and LOVE that you posted that for your mom.

    You made me smile and get misty eyed.
    How is it that you can touch my heart so deeply with so little effort?
    So glad you do.

    Scarlett & Viaggiatore

    Wanderlust Scarlett’s last blog post..The Road Ahead

    Hee hee…it’s a gift πŸ˜‰

Michelle KaminskyMichelle Kaminsky is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer who lived in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy for 15 years. This blog is now archived. 

Calabria Guidebook

Calabria travel guide by Michelle Fabio



Homemade apple butter
Green beans, potatoes, and pancetta
Glazed Apple Oatmeal Cinnamon Muffins
Pasta with snails alla calabrese
Onion, Oregano, and Thyme Focaccia
Oatmeal Banana Craisin Muffins
Prosciutto wrapped watermelon with bel paese cheese
Fried eggs with red onion and cheese
Calabrian sausage and fava beans
Ricotta Pound Cake