I think of Venice often, even though it’s been many years since I’ve been there. It was the most unique and amazing place I have ever visited; Italy in general holds a special place in my heart because both my family and my husband’s family are of Italian heritage. Many people say the Grand Canal is the most beautiful street in the world; I think they may be right. Last year, in my Poetry class, we were asked to write a haibun and a haiku that flowed together. As we could choose any subject to write about, Venice was my choice. When I travel, I keep a copious journal, so it is easy for me to recall sights, sounds, people, and feelings I had at the time simply by referring to my journal, as I did when I wrote the following piece:
Haibun meets Haiku: One with Venezia
We hoist our luggage from the train. We follow the steps from Venezia Santa Lucia to meet the Vaporetto. I pause, convinced I am in a postcard. I touch my face. I am not dreaming. It looks exactly as I imagined, the history and miracle of this place. The sky above, blue, the hues of the city vibrant. In an instant, it seeps into my skin, my soul. A pigeon descends. I look at my husband; we have tears in our eyes.
Hotel Monaco delights us, Grand Canal and San Marco in sight. In minutes, I have become this place, feel its pulse, its people. Blissful pedestrians, bikers, gondoliers. The canals are clean, clear. We hear the swishing of the water—a relaxing sound. The magnificent buildings showcase their architecture. I want to absorb it, walk the streets and bridges, taste the food, see the stars and moon glisten off the canals. I want to be among its people, laugh, taste the wine. Our tummies rumble and we head for Dorsoduro. The canals echo, just us.
Heels tap streets, click, click—
gondolier sings “Volare;”
the city won’t sink tonight.