A DEFINITIVE HISTORY OF VENICE


PIAZZA DI SAN MARCO

 

After the sky has shaded from indigo

to sepia, when swifts have gone and pigeons

roost in the crepuscular arcades,

when the Basilica’s looted bronze horses

are illumined – where Rossano Brazzi

and Katherine Hepburn failed to meet

at any one of the five cafés in

Napoleon’s ‘most splendid drawing room

in Europe’, where Proust (holidaying

at the Danieli with mother) corrected

his translation of Ruskin and criticised

the risotto, where Casanova

evaded the watch – then the eclectic

clock tower, the three, competing string orchestras,

and the melancholy campanile

accompany gratis a young man, alone,

masked, waltzing on the marble pavement.

 

 

 

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