Wednesday, March 16, 2011

VENICE: Erica Jong - poetry reading

Venice - Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana: Erica Jong – poetry reading.  The venue for Erica Jong’s intimate poetry reading took place in the vestibule of the library of the Sala Sansoviniana of the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana in Piazza San Marco.  The Library room’s ceiling is covered by a vault decorated by works of seven different artists, chosen by Titian and Sansovino and on its walls are portraits of philosophers, amongst which are some by Tinoretto and Veronese.

Erica Jong – poetry reading.  The well-known American novelist, poet and essayist, Erica Jong is photographed before her poetry reading in the vestibule of the Sala Sansoviniana.
Erica is looking forward to: the publication of her book Sugar in my Bowl: Real Women Write About Real Sex, published by Ecco on June 14.

In Venice Again with You
Erica Jong
In this great ghost of cities,
the dreams rise
from the murky lagoon
and you dream
you kill your father
and I dream again of my bad reviews.

Seen at the Erica Jong – poetry reading. Marina and Vittorio Gregotti.
Vittorio is looking forward to: the publication of his book, Architectura e Post Metropoli published by Giulio Einaudi  Editore on April 1.

A dagger hovers
In the air –
or can it be a pen?

The ghosts
are restless.

Seen at the Erica Jong – poetry reading. Professor of American studies at Venice University, Rosella Mamoli Zorzi, who introduced, translated and read in Italian Erica’s poetry.
Rosella is looking forward to:  the exhibition, opening April 2, at the Istituto Veneto di Scienza, Lettere ed Arti, called Il Veneto di Hemingway, to which she wrote the essay in the catalogue.

Lord Byron limps
across the Grand Canal
walking on the water.

Seen at the Erica Jong – poetry reading.  The president of The Venice International Foundation, Franca Coin.
Franca is looking forward to: the exhibition at Ca Rezzonico, Barry X Ball, opening on June 2.

The doges mumble
in the baths of blood;
and Tintoretto, painting, painting,
asks: “What matter
if I paint a Christ
or a satyr
as long as the chiaroscuro
is mine, all mine?”

Seen at the Erica Jong – poetry reading.   The Manera family, Manfred with Ulysse, Caroline and Maia.
Manfred is looking forward to: the opening of his art and textile gallery called The Merchant of Venice on April 30 in Campo Sant’Angelo.
Caroline is looking forward to: he exhibition at The Merchant of Venice during the Venice Biennale.

At San Marco
the pickpockets dance,
fluttering stolen bills
like New Years’ Eve

The Vestibule of the Sala Sansoviniana.  The ceiling of the vestibule of the Sala Sansoviniana was painted by Titian in 1560 and represents La Sapienza (Wisdom).  The very thin Japanese paper tape on the ceiling is placed in specific places to monitor any cracks that may appear.

and the old assassins
from the past
dash through
the alleyways
transformed into cats.

The poet.  Erica Jong.

The dogs sniff history
through their muzzles
and find it stinks.

The pigeons wheel and dip
making black holes
in Turner’s luminescent sky.

The poet.  Erica Jong is very charming and expressive when she explains her poetry before a reading.

It is all a stage set
for our dreams
as we wheel  and turn
thrashing up our pasts.

Erica Jong – poetry reading.  Erica read some poems from her book of collected poems, Love Comes First and from her other book Becoming Light, Poems, New and Selected.

Is this why lovers
come to Venice,
city of cemeteries
 and black burial boats?

Seen at the Erica Jong – poetry reading.   Photographer Mark E. Smith.
Mark is looking forward to: the launch of the book Labirinto Ducale written by Federico Moro, photographed by Mark Edward Smith and published by Elzeviro in April.

To set the ghost
To rest
and build their lives
upon the dark lagoon
of death?

Seen at the Erica Jong – poetry reading.   The vice-director of the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Maurizio Messina, Erica Jong and artist Liselotte Hohs.
Maurizio is looking forward to: the opening of the exhibition Aspettando L’Unita 1850-1866, Venezia Verso L’Unificazione nelle Collezioni della Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana.
Liselotte is looking forward to: her exhibition of tapestries and carpets entitled Animal Magnetism at the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana due to open on August 30.

O my lover,
I have walked through
the crumbling palaces
with you
promising things
history teaches
 that we cannot promise.

The Venice Poem – In Venice with You Again.  An extract of the poem featured above, In Venice Again with You, by Erica Jong (copyright Erica Jong) is used by kind permission of the author and is taken from the book, Gondola Signore Gondola, Venice in 20TH Century American Poetry, curated by Rosella Mamoli Zorzi with the collaboration of Gregory Dowling and published by Supernova.

The ghosts
are laughing.
They leer and pronounce
dire warning
from behind
their terrifying masks.
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