October 2010


We're in Italy for two weeks on vacation with a couple of friends. We've been staying for the past few days in Bologna, an extraordinarily beautiful city in the north of Italy. Bologna is the home of the oldest University in Europe, and students have attended classes in some of the lecture rooms for almost a thousand years. Bologna is also a city of porticos, covered walkways along the streets that shelter walkers and talkers from the elements. There are over 35 km of these porticos in the central, oldest part of the city. And Bologna is a city of churches.

Cameron Penny's poem

If you are lucky in this life,
A window will appear on a battlefield between two armies.
And when the soldiers look into the window
They don’t see their enemies.
They see themselves as children.
And they stop fighting
And go home and go to sleep. When they wake up, the land is well again.

Cameron Penny's If You Are Lucky in This Life was originally published in the November/December 2001 issue of North American Review. Marie Howe reads his poem in the film Voices in Wartime.