Sylvia Poggioli, a longtime Europe correspondent for National Public Radio based in Rome, is currently working on a book about her family’s transatlantic history. (May 2018)

Follow Sylvia Poggioli on Twitter: @spoggioli1.

NYR DAILY

How My Father Made Landfall

The author’s parents, Renata and Renato Poggioli, in the mid-1940s

I’d always known my father’s papers contained a trove of letters from some of the big names in twentieth-century literature. But it wasn’t until I finally began going through my father’s papers one by one that I discovered the breadth and richness of his literary world, his passion and political engagement. Then, one day last spring, I found two yellowing, handwritten sheets of paper among the mostly typewritten letters: one was a note, the other contained verses. At the bottom of each was the clear signature of W.H. Auden.