The Tower of Pisa is a unique beauty.
To admire and protect it
     is the whole world's duty.

I wonder: did its architect and master builder
rot in a stinking dungeon
     for erecting such a marvel
     on a layer of wobbly gravel?

Oh no! exclaims the Mayor.
You should know that every tourist guide
recites their famous names
     with utmost reverence and pride.

For did the masterpiece not lean and bend,
its fame would long have paled
     and, with it, the town's mighty rent!
Stan Sýkora, Pisa 1995, part of Perpetuum Mobile
I go to Pisa quite often. When I have to stay overnight, I usually sleep at Hotel Italia which is a rather a drab establishment across the street from Piazza dei Miracoli. The verses were inspired by the view of the Piazza from the hotel window. Out of season, drenched in an autumn drizzle, it looks as incongruous as a new wedding dress in a sewage dump. Besides, I am really amused and fascinated by the unique ability of Italians to turn major engineering blunders into fame and money.
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