Thursday, September 20, 2007
Part Two: Creative Writing Assignments
I should have taken a photograph of the Coliseum. Then I could show you how small people look compared to the large arches of the ancient Roman amphitheater: So very tiny, like colorful ants waiting to climb a cracked porcelain pot. But then you would have missed the sound of hundreds of people surging to the top.
Swarms of eager ants
Each follow different flags
Racing to the top
I should have taken a photograph of St. Peter’s square. Then I could show you Bernini’s grand Doric colonnades and twin fountains. Complete with 140 saints and martyrs that look down on you as you complete your pilgrimage with the other 1,000 people who also chose this day. But then you would have missed the heavenly gathering formed by the saints and martyrs that surround you. You would have missed Bernini tricks as you walk towards the Basilica. I could have shown you the pattern in the pavement that forms a flat shell. But then you would have missed feeling the nurturing arms of the church.
Middle of a shell
The end of a long journey
Washed upon the shore
I should have taken a photograph of the Spanish Steps. Then I could have shown you where Audrey Hepburn sat and ate her gelato. The people who walk up and down the marble steps are like models. They swing their hips and pout their lips and show off their latest outfits. Every shoe looks more precarious the first; first the flats, then the heels, and now the stilettos. 134 steps in all, I counted. But you know what steps look like. Solid and firm as they ascend upwards like the muscles on a man’s back.
I should have taken a picture of the Trevi Fountain. Then I could have shown you Neptune, and the hippocampi that gallop through the water. How the fountain encompasses an entire side of Palazzo Poli. But you would have missed the sound of the rushing water. You would have missed the crowd of people waiting to toss coins over their shoulders into the fountain, guaranteeing their return to Rome. You would not have been able to feel the cold as you dipped your hand into the water.