How Do You Say “Cena”?

Natalie Clark
May 29, 2014

Many moons ago, I applied on a last-minute whim to be the blogger for my IES Abroad program and was chosen. While that was and is very exciting, I also believe I said that I would be including some poetry in this blog (okay, fine..I definitely know I said that), and I know that that hasn’t shame on me. And while I found Siena incredibly inspiring for poetry, I never wanted to actually sit down and write a poem, because I would have rather been actually living my life outside in Siena than inside writing about it. I think once I’ve been away from Siena for a while I’ll feel more inspired to capture those memories in poetry and writing.

That being said, I will not leave you without a poem! And an Italian-inspired poem at that! I took a poetry class the semester before I went to Italy and wrote a form poem titled “Cena” (which means dinner in Italian). It is written in an altered minute form, with four lines in each stanza. The first line in each stanza has eight syllables while the other three have four syllables.


She tips her head back, laughs, and sips

wine with red lips

He reaches for

her hand—listens


as she tells stories of her trip

to Rome with the

Trevi Fountain;

wishes on coins.


Faces framed by the restaurant


A moment of

memories past.


I laugh now thinking about this poem, because at the time I couldn’t even pronounce the title. I originally wrote this poem because I was interested in the idea of observing a dinner through a window (in the least creepy way possible). But now the poem takes on a different meaning for me, as I realize I might someday be that person talking about tossing coins in the Trevi Fountain. It’s funny how being abroad has changed my perspective on something as simple as an old poem.

More Blogs From This Author

View All Blogs

Natalie Clark

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Hi there! My name is Natalie Clark and I go to college in Spartanburg, South Carolina. I&#39;m an English major with Creative Writing and Gender Studies concentrations. While I love my hometown in Arkansas, I&#39;ve also gotten really into traveling since starting college (as one would assume, considering the fact that I&#39;m studying abroad) and I can&#39;t wait to explore while I&#39;m in Italy...okay, okay...and eat a lot of pasta.</span></p>

2014 Spring
Home University:
Wofford College
Explore Blogs