Venice Carnival 2020: art and poetry meet

Venice Carnival 2020. On the occasion of the 2020 Venice carnival I was commissioned to decorate one of the twelve doves that according to ancient tradition are associated with the twelve “Marys” of the carnival.

Venice Carnival 2020

Invited by dr. Roberto Zamberlan of the Bevilacqua La Masa Foundation I prepared a poem that could decorate one of the papier-mâché pigeons. It was a great honor for me.

art and poetry venice carnival 2020
Paulicio Anafesto, the Doge’s dove decorated by Paolo Gambi

The carnival was then marred by the unexpected interruption due to the advent of the coronavirus pandemic. But a few days before the start of the quarantine, I managed to participate in the award ceremony.

There were the twelve beautiful Marys of the carnival, headed by Maria Grazia Bortolato. The draw took place in the presence of other important artists. A nice little girl took the names of the girls and the works of art from two containers one by one. My dove has been associated with beautiful Gioia Mayer.

This is the text of my poem:

The Doge’s dove

Just a few feathers are enough
to see San Marco from above
understand at a glance
The labyrinthine tangle of alleys, canals and hearts
loves that intertwine
prohibited or tolerated
by a cement world
that besieges the lagoon.
The dove flies high
on a cloud he meets a sad Doge
rain cries on the Serenissima
nostalgia blows from the sea.
The square is flooded
The Doges’s dove
goes back to dry land
and look a Chinese tourist in the eye.
He says nothing.
He already said all.

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