Slender is the Night
Leaving new scenes behind, venturing forward, encountering newer and newer scenes, blissfully aware of our environs, a rapid diorama, we arrive at last in Verona. The celestial light of late sunset casts shadows in the water; for a vanishing moment the ravishing confusion of architecture is engoldened. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe observed in his Italian Journey, “In a country where everyone enjoys the day but the evening even more, sunset is an important moment.” The darkening cloudless sky finally surrenders to cobalt damask. There is no evening breeze to stir the trees. Just a balmy stillness broken by the clink of glasses and echo of voices. Locals dine outside, nonchalantly ambivalent to the Roman and Renaissance and romantic backdrop, like marionettes against a crowded theatre set. Ours is a panoramic literature: sights cut, dried, and dictated. Italy, where beauty is the norm. As picturesque as it is spectral.