Venice – by Richard Jacobs

This city, throned on her one hundred isles,

Full of tourists, cramming the beauty spots,

All taking photographs on their mobiles

Of gondolas, motorboats and yachts.

The people of this happy city say

That in a time of peace they think of war;

And so today, though wheels and roads hold sway,

Where others start a car they grab an oar.

Venice is a city for beavers

Where the Basilica di San Marco

Is sacred even to non-believers;

The home of Shakespeare's Antonio,

An orange gem upon a blue glass plate,

Something half fairy tale, half tourist trap,

Another word for music, mud-flat and flood-gate,

Evanescing to the melting of the icecap.

Venice is like an enchanted garden

Or an entire box of chocolate liqueurs

Eaten in one go. Your arteries will harden

To the sound of Vivaldi's overtures.

It doesn't matter what the poet writes -

Effusive, elegiac or unkind -

This is a city famous for its sights

Yet lent its name to the Venetian blind.

© Richard Jacobs

Stolen bits

Where Venice sate in state, throned on her hundred isles! From Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, Lord Byron

The Commonwealth of Venice in their armoury have this inscription: “Happy is that city which in time of peace thinks of war”. Robert Burton

A city for beavers. Ralph Waldo Emerson

An orange gem resting on a blue glass plate: it's Venice seen from above. Henry James

This was Venice, the flattering and suspect beauty – this city, half fairy tale and half tourist trap, in whose salubrious air the arts once rankly and voluptuously blossomed, where composers have been inspired to lulling tones of somniferous eroticism. Thomas Mann

When I seek another word for music I never find any other word than 'Venice'. Friedrich Nietzsche

There is something so different in Venice from any other place in the world, that you leave at once all accustomed habits and everyday sights to enter an enchanted garden. Mary Shelley

Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go. Truman Capote