in the Square,
the Palace and Saint Mark’s
already faded and still fading
in the white twilight of snowfall—


the pale pillars, the phantom portals
vaguely looming, dimly shadowed,
vanishing into a mist of snow
to drown in sea-drift desolation.


In such a solitude,
unpigeoned and unpeopled,
of fallen and still falling snow,
a lady in black,


lifting a black umbrella,
is striding forward purposefully
toward some appointment
with the winter of her mourning.


Titian is dead.
The light that kindled into color
sinks, extinguished, into night.
What is a mist of rainbow to the sea?

New to The New Criterion?

Subscribe for one year to receive ten print issues, and gain immediate access to our online archive spanning more than four decades of art and cultural criticism.

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 15 Number 10, on page 36
Copyright © 2023 The New Criterion |