My Bennington poet friend, Steve Gregoris, is in love. Patrizia Pedrazzina grew up in Piacenza, Italy, and speaks Italian and British-accented English. He is 46; she is 41. Each has been married and involved before. They know the drill. So their three-month romance has all the freshness of first love but arrives in a calm glow. They look at each other a lot. They casually hold hands on the way to the restaurant. I always look for deep contrasts in a strong couple, and so it seems with Steve and Patrizia. He is one of the most mercurial, edgy, kind, creative, and spontaneous men I know. She seems rooted, comfortable with herself like a dark-eyed cat.

Our houseguests prepared a gourmet meal last night of swordfish, vegetables and rice. Our day an a half together moved easily from naps to reading to walks in Cannes, to animated conversation and disputes during and after dinner. They left just before noon for a nine-hour drive to Italy to visit family and friends before returning to Switzerland by Sunday. If what seems well begun between them lasts, Steve and Patrizia will have been together a year and three months when we hope to see them in Cannes again next year. Beginnings are sweet at any age.

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