The Visible World


64 pages
ISBN 1-894469-26-7
DDC C811'.54





Reviewed by Beryl Baigent

Beryl Baigent is a poet; her published collections include Absorbing the
Dark, Hiraeth: In Search of Celtic Origins, Triptych: Virgins, Victims,
Votives, and Mystic Animals.


Pier Giorgio Di Cicco was the poet laureate for Toronto when he produced
this slim volume of poetry. He is also a Catholic priest, a teacher at
the University of Toronto, and the curator of the Toronto Humanitas

The volume’s two sections are yoked together like yin and yang, each
one displaying in itself a part of the other so that the relationship is
evident and non-confrontational. Di Cicco tells his readers, “I try to
restore as / two halves of a heart” by seeing “all and anything / in
faith, and nothing more.”

In Part 1 (“The Sound of Shimmer”), one experiences the sun and its
light in full force. Even on a snowy day the poet is aware that this
light allows him to create “the figure / of a woman; [who] is
stringing together a rosary / of all those [he] has ever loved.”
Father and mother are also aspects of the sun, as are the new dawn and
the “brightness of a piece of glass,” but things “are changed by /
the syllables of creation.” The poet thinks like a mystic as he
experiences elemental forces within himself and knows that his God is
also in everything. He experiences the spirit of nature in himself as he
proclaims, “I am like stone.”

Part 2 (“Forgiveness in the Dark”) creates a balance, the yin
gentleness, not defined by gender but by the qualities of “singing and
writing and dancing … / … beauty and music.” In living as priest
and poet, Father Di Cicco is prepared to face mortality head on. He
blesses and expresses his love for all things while there is still time.
He writes of burying babies and the death of immigrants, and—referring
to the task of balancing the negative with the positive in the
world—he tells us that he is “the song. / The live blessing, / the
lily / in the flesh.”

Each reading of The Visible World unravels a further mystery of life
and death. It is a book I will read often.



Di Cicco, Pier Giorgio., “The Visible World,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 20, 2024,