Having been well trained in vertices
And versed in academic silence in galleries –
What patient intruders of a kind are we –
It still took a long, cold while to understand
The openness. For once, I was the city.
I was the memory of a marble Virgil.
I was a vacant courtyard, with my Ducal
Statue on its rear legs, poised for the charge,
Yet stone. To my right, the palace kept
Its place. The corridors of the Uffizi
Ran like a well-considered argument
As morning lifted silver from each plane.
It was society without its personage,
And a violent overthrow without dissent.
And not a soul, not one resident
Or merchant passed me by or staked his claim.
And I reread my act of composition:
For once, I was the city, I
Was the memory of a marble Virgil, I
Was a vacant courtyard trained in vertices
Because I was entirely at home,
Among the empty walkways of a dawn.
I have been a little consumptive of late: hence my lack of recent output, and also hence my retrieval of this idiosyncratic Byronic / Keats / Shelley-inspired sonnet from my travels in Italy. The architecture, the angels, the timeless beauty of Florence was overpowering. I wished so desperately to belong there.
Hope you enjoy. Until my next post I will convalesce and take herbs and ointments from the apothecary like the good, slowly-dying Romantic I am. Ciao.