Slice of Life: The Leaning Tower of Pisa


In honor of National Poetry Month, I’m sharing a slice of poetry today. I was inspired by Mary Lee Hahn‘s “Our Wonderful Word” poetry project. Each day during the month of April, Mary Lee is writing an original poem in honor of either a man-made or natural wonder. Today’s wonder is the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

I briefly considered becoming an architect when I was in high school, and although I chose a different path, my fascination with architecture remains. Not long after reading Brunelleschi’s Dome by Ross King, I found Tilt: A Skewed History of The Tower of Pisa, by Nicholas Shrady. When I pulled the book off my shelf last weekend, I was struck by how much the tower looked like a wedding cake. And although I’m sure I’m not the first person to make that comparison, it was the spark I needed for this poem.


Were I to bake

a wedding cake, 

festooned with frill and flower

it would list and tilt

like Pisa’s famous tower.

Each tier more precarious

than the one below,

how to keep it upright,

Heaven only knows.

Although it’s not perfection,

once topped with groom and bride,

my flour and sugar confection

will stand askew with pride.

© Catherine Flynn, 2014

Thank you, as always, to StaceyTaraDanaBetsyAnna, and Beth for hosting Slice of Life each Tuesday. Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts.

10 thoughts on “Slice of Life: The Leaning Tower of Pisa

  1. Your poem made me smile. Love the comparison to a wedding cake. I believe I will always think “wedding cake” when I see pictures of The Tower of Pisa.


  2. What a fun poem and post. I love the comparison of the Leaning Tower of Pisa with a wedding cake. Two years ago I landed in Pisa to begin an Italian adventure. Finding the tower was quite precarious–to carry on with Linda’s analogy. I will have to live with seeing it only in photos. After 3 hours of trying to find it, my friends, who had just traveled to Pisa via NY, decided we needed to find our hotel which was still another 3 hours away. Thanks for bringing back the memory. The poem was very clever!


  3. What a great connection between the leaning tower and the challenge of getting a cake to sit straight. That’s the story of my life!

    Really enjoyed the rhythm and cadence of the first lines.



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