Tag Archives Italy

RIVA DEI SETTE MARTIRI, VENICE

By Posted on 2 Comments1min read211 views

If you stroll far enough, long enough eastwards

on Riva Degli Schiavoni (Shore

of the Slaves) – before it was a wide,

stone promenade it was sand and mud  –

stroll away from the crowds, past the Danieli,

the Arsenale, the vaporetto stops

and beyond, with San Georgio Majore

across the Bacino Di San Marco –

you come to the Shore of the Seven Martyrs,

where now private yachts and small cruise ships dock.

 

It was the Riva Dell’Imperio –

built by the Fascists in the ’30s –

when the German Kriegsmarine torpedo boats

moored there. The officers were partying

one July night – the carousing loud

through the blacked out canals – when a sentry

disappeared. A crowd of hundreds was forced

to watch the seven murders – men who were

already incarcerated – and children

forced to clean the blood from the stones. Later,

body unmarked, lungs full of sea water,

the sentry’s corpse washed up against the oak piles

that keep the city safe in the lagoon.

 

Nothing extraordinary here. There are

two other sites in Venice, many more

throughout Italy, with greater numbers –

like the bus exchange in Gubbio,

Piazza Dei Quaranta Martiri,

or Rome’s Adreatine massacre.

Nothing remarkable anywhere perhaps

given half a million Italian war dead

except mostly, despite the witnesses,

the crimes are unpunished.

 

 

 

‘AI’ & ‘REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST’: POEMS & GRAPHICS

By Posted on 8 Comments

The poems were inspired by conversations with the artist, Evie Chapman. The ...

‘A SHROPSHIRE LAD’…

By Posted on 3 Comments

…is the first book of poetry I owned – a breast pocket ...

THE FASHION OF THE EARTH

By Posted on 0 Comments

In a letter published in The Times in May 1936 – the ...