@ 27.055 MHz: Ad Astra; Days Of 1912, Cavafy's Visit To Venice

During your vacation in Venice, Poet, did you

visit the beaches and, if so, did you see those

two handsome boys, Tadzio and Jaschu?--whose friendship

was more than they allowed it to appear to be, in

order to evade the vociferous condemnations of

old prudes and haters, and their silly, societal

expectations.  You appreciated their affection, the

erotic desires that adolescence had bestowed upon

them, and the surreptitious manner in which, ever

cautiously, the sought to satisfy the urges.

You did not mind to consider them beautiful---a far

more appropriate word than any other that anyone

else might care to use.  Clad in their bathing

suits during the afternoons, their bare feet

left imprints on the sand, as the sea's gentle

breeze danced playfully through theif long and

silken hair.  At certain moments---and out of the

peering, peeping eyesight of the prejudiced, but

not beyond your careful and appreciative observation,

they clasped each other's hand; just for a moment, an

insignificant duration of time not much noticed by

most of the people lounging on the beach; but for them, for

Tadzio and Jaschu, it meant and signified something more

profound, something of which they were delightedly aware

even though, juvenescent, their experience of mundane

life, and of homogenic Love, was understandably limited.

After dusk fell, and the sky began to constellate, these

two young men---now clad formally for the evening's

sumptuous meal in the Hotel's grand Dining Hall---stepped

outside for a more private encounter.  Carrying their shoes,

they walked along that line at which the sand becomes

damp from the last reach of the waves that the moon

delivers; and they seemed to enjoy the sensation of wetness

their semi-sheer socks accumulated.  Around the bend, and

out of the line of sight of everyone (including yourself), a

small covert, shielded by granite that the tide had not yet

worn away, received them:  there, they kissed and caressed

each other, without fear of discovery or intrusion.  All too

soon, just as they had to return to their families' rooms,

you had to depart Venice, to resume your work in the

Irrigation Office, Alexandria.  And though you regretted

absenting yourself from them, you also knew that some

Poet, somewhere and sometime (perhaps you, or perhaps

some lesser) should write about them---Tadzio and Jaschu,

lovers and boyfriends during those summer weeks that

Love, Who is God, allowed you, bearing witness, to share

with them . . . .



Author's Notes/Comments: 

The title alludes to several of Constantine Cavafy's poems titled "Days Of . . ." followed by a year's numeration.

The poem also alludes to Thomas Mann's novel, Death In Venice; in which the two summer boyfriends, Tadzio and Jaschu, are found.  According to scholars, Tadzio was an actual person; I have found nothing about Jaschu to confirm whether he was a real person or fictive.  I do believe that Mann spoiled his good intentions by failing to focus more on the relationship between the two young men; though, perhaps given that repressive era, he was not able to write more explicitly and openly about them.

The last line of the poem alludes to 1 John 4:8.

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