Tuesday, 01 September 2009

   

 

TO HELENE: FROM GENOA    

    I wanted to write you a letter.    

    In the old days
    We were never here together
    In this city of art.    

    There’s so much
    I’d like to discuss –
    From the aggressive pigeons
    To that altarpiece by Rubens
    You might possibly know a drawing for,
    Guarded by una stregha
    In some dusty gabinetto di disegni.    

    But you’ve left no forwarding address.    

    Where you’ve gone,
    They almost certainly don’t laugh
    At jokes involving catalogues raisonnés
    And the latest amour
    Of the ‘Perino del Vagina’.

Notes: ‘Stregha’ is Italian for a witch. The ladies who run the Old Master drawing collections in leading Italian museums are notoriously difficult. ‘Gabinetto di disegni’ – drawing collection.

 Catalogue raisonné – a catalogue of the complete work of a particular artists.

 ‘Perino del Vagina’ – unkind nickname for an American scholar who was a specialist in the work of the Italian Mannerist artist Perino del Vaga, 1501-1547.

 

This site was last updated 01-09-2009