And Light Remains.


80 pages
ISBN 978-1-55071-238-1
DDC C811'.6





Reviewed by Kim Fahner

Kim Fahner is a poet and the author of You Must Imagine the Cold Here.


Colallilo-Katz’s newest collection of poems, And Light Remains, is simply stunning. Despite the real awareness of mortality’s infallible power, the poet reminds us that—throughout all of life’s challenges and trials—it is the light of hope that remains.


This is a book that is populated by angels, brilliantly portrayed in “The Darkness of the Memory of Love,” a poem within which the speaker takes part in a conversation with a particularly witty angelic being. “I’m just being pragmatic, winks the angel. / this life is worth sorting through, but you feel helpless. / this is the room you thought you’d locked up / with a key made from arias of love, you thought / you’d lost that key. the angel smiles and winks. / she’s no pushover.”


There are also continual references to spirituality and religion, as when the poet compares a heart being frail when held “like a chalice” by a loved one (in “Awakening”), references to blessings, as in “Some Mornings, Dreams,” when the poet writes: “some mornings / no matter what else happens / I’m forced to bless everything.” There is light and hope through it all, a sense of someone who believes in something greater and more forgiving than any human being could ever be, in this gathering of poems. These poetic meditations are, in so many ways, proof that poetry can really be prayer.


The sense of different worlds meeting, and sometimes (but not always) melding, is evident throughout And Light Remains. Poems that embody the spirit of Colalillo-Katz’s Italian heritage, like “Village Houses,” “Washing Day I,” “Washing Day II,” and the brilliant “A Woman’s Identity,” play key roles in the book. In “A Woman’s Identity,” the poet reflects on arranged marriages when she writes, “I’m leaving this transplanted village life— / leaving it far behind.” She wants to “discover myself. / learn everything, / go everywhere. / become the one I still don’t know, / the one they don’t suspect me of being. / the woman they can never / never sell into bondage.”


Colalillo-Katz, Isabella., “And Light Remains.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 20, 2024,