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Rome Reports

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Luca Milanese, the young poet who inspired Pope Francis

Luca Milanese is a young Italian with a passion for poetry. His first collection of poems is called “Rime a sorpresa” (surprise rhymes). The prologue was written by a good friend of his with whom he shared some of his work: Pope Francis.

“Creating poetry is like pausing and letting myself be surprised. I think that's what caught Pope Francis' attention. It was also the beginning of an authentic friendship and an exchange of ideas with him.”

Luca began sending his poems to Pope Francis after they met at Casa Santa Marta.

He says the months following were an interesting time of exchanging poems and ideas with the pope.

“What most surprised me was that I was able to overcome the challenge of expressing my emotions and perspective, especially considering my dysgraphia and insecurity. Poetry for me has been liberating.”

Luca lets himself be struck by his own poems, and re-reading his verses brings him a profound sense of joy.

This is one of the poems from his first book. It's title translates roughly as “Man of the year 2,000.”

“This poem is basically about a city guy who's always running around in a frenzy, who finds it hard to find a moment to disconnect and contemplate.... Pope Francis himself challenged me to overcome this, to not be like the 'Man of the year 2000,' who definitely doesn't manage to pause and reflect.”

This young poet is confident that poetry can be a tool to help people reflect in challenging times and build a better society.

Daniel Díaz Vizzi

Translation: CT