Dappled with transparent imagery, like the Mediterranean sunlight she grew up with, Hélène Cardona’s poems offer a vivid self-portrait as scholar, seer and muse. 

John Ashberywinner of the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, Griffin International Poetry Prize, MacArthur “Genius” Grant, and a National Humanities Medal

Helene Cardona Photo by Marta Vassilakis
Life in Suspension

The ultimate aim is reverence for the universe.
The ultimate aim is love for life.
The ultimate aim is harmony within oneself.

—The Isle of Immortals

Poetry is language for the ineffable, what is impossible to write, the mystery. I seek the light within that mystery. We are stretched to the frontiers of what we know, exploring language and the psyche. The poem is a gesture, a movement, an opening towards a greater truth or understanding. Art brings us to the edge of the incomprehensible. Poetry and life are prayer, enchantment, and transmutation of the being leading to fulfillment. The poems, in their alchemy and geology, are fragments of dreams, enigmas, shafts of light, part myth, and part fable. Mysticism constitutes the experience of what transcends us while inhabiting us. Poetry, as creation, borders on it. It is metaphysical. It offers a new vision of the universe, reveals the soul’s secrets and mysteries.

Hélène Cardona

Dreaming My Animal Selves

We packed
whole lives into bundles in search
of what chooses us, what wants to come
back to the surface, what needs to be said.
We had so many dreams
we didn’t know what to make of them.

—In Search of Benevolent Immortality 

"Mumford" still by Gemma Lamana
"Mumford" still by Gemma Lamana
"Chocolat" still by David Appleby
"Chocolat" still by David Appleby
"Stealing Roses" still by Antonio Lozano
"Stealing Roses" still by Antonio Lozano
Chocolat poster: Juliette Binoche, Hélène Cardona, Carrie-Anne Moss and Lena Olin
Chocolat poster: Juliette Binoche, Hélène Cardona, Carrie-Anne Moss and Lena Olin