Signor Eulisse in Nafplionby Gail Holst-Warhaft
for Eriberto Eulisse
In the museum he sees a map, his eyes
of blue Venetian glass realize
this Greek port was Napoli di Romania,
minor jewel in the Corona Venetiana.
He photographs the lion looped in graffiti
and polished by kids' hands in the city
where St George's Church seems to borrow
its campanile straight from San Giorgio.
This town's a mini-Venice, he thinks,
built on a rock, and unlikely to sink:
a lasting monument to his city's fame.
Oblivious to the echoes of his name
he sees what travelers see, the familiar
in the strange, the lion with its battered ear,
the campanile, the fountain with its Latin
inscription by the bay Ulysses sailed in,
and look, how like the pigeons in San Marco
these grey birds are, muttering just so!