Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Healing of a Madman (Vittore Carpaccio)


A madness in us all is a thwarted desire to see.
A painter cannot see beyond his frame and nor can we.
The Rialto Bridge is closed for now to the taller ships,
And men step gingerly across her pedestrian planks.
The pot-like chimneys equal in number the gathered swells,
Tradesmen and pols awaiting the news, that they may worship.
A miracle will soon be performed and they must give thanks,
Though in such proximity they sweat, and the canal smells.
Above, Querini touches the madman with a splinter
Said to come from the Holy Cross, attempting to enter
The man's darkened mind and let in the soft lights of Venice.
Failing, he kisses the beggar's eyes, an act of penance.
The weeping madman stoops and strokes the glittering vestments.

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