Karen Tintori


Lovely Lady, dark of hue,
Teach me how to pray.
A god was born your little boy,
Tell me what to say

When you sat him, as he grew,
Gently on your knee
Did you sing to him the way
My mother sang to me?

Did he hold your hand at night?
Did you ever cry
Telling him stories of the world?
Ah! Then did he pry
The deepest secrets from your soul —
The name of every herb,
Of every sacred flower
You sowed to save the earth?

Lovely lady, darkly hewn
From an ancient tree
Goddess of the sea and moon
Shed your light on me

Teach me ways to love and care
For every living thing
Oh — when you flew from Eden,
Did your mighty wings
Make a noise? And can you hear
Me if I speak low?
Do you understand my pleas?
Tell me all you know

Lovely lady, dark one who
Visit us by night
In the whispers of the wind
Impart to us your sight

Help us peel your mysteries
Ancient truths reveal,
Teach us how to listen
Teach us how to heal
Ourselves and then each other
Since our soul purpose here
Is to share and love and nurture,
To unlearn how to fear.
Lovely lady, dark and true
Teach me all your names
Sheba, Isis, Shekhinah,
Lilit – all the same

As Hera, Diana, Hecate,
Artemis, Miriam, Nuit,
Luna, Nephthys, Kali,
I seek wisdom at your teat
Guard each mother and each child
Stirring in her womb
Steadfast in protective love
From first breath to the tomb

Sing us songs of ancient ways
Lullabies of life,
Your immortal words repair the world
And lead it far from strife

Lovey lady, I beg of you
Teach me to convey
Pride and Strength and Sisterhood
As in those long past days
Gather us to the fire that
At Eden’s gate still glows.
Feed us from the trees there
The holy ones you grow

Lovely lady, dark as yew
Teach me how to pray
You helped God create the world
I know you know the way

— After a favorite childhood prayer:

“Lovely Lady Dressed in Blue

by Mary Dixon Thayer


Karen Tintori  is active in the Jewish community and in Italian genealogy. She has visited Italy numerous times, is studying Italian and holds dual American and Italian citizenship. She lives in Michigan with her husband and one of their two sons.  Their home is filled with books, many stacked in Karen’s to-be-read pile.

Her most recent book is Unto the Daughters: The Legacy of an Honor Killing in a Sicilian-American Family, a family memoir from St. Martin’s Press, which was taught in an Italian American Studies Program at the Harvard Extension School.

Like The Book of Names, Karen’s and Jill’s second hidden history thriller, The Illumination, was published by St. Martin’s Press in the U.S. and Canada, and by Rowohlt in Germany.