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Poems On / About ELEGY  7/23/2014 5:23:24 PM
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  25.     

A Lament

Horace: Book II, Elegy 8

"Eripitur nobis iam pridem cara puella---"


While she I loved is being torn
From arms that held her many years,
Dost thou regard me, friend, with scorn,
Or seek to check my tears?

Bitter the hatred for a jilt,
And hot the hates of Eros are;
My hatred, slay me as thou wilt,
For thee'd be gentler far.

Can I endure that she recline
Upon another's arm? Shall they
No longer call that lady "mine"
Who "mine" was yesterday?

For Love is fleeting as the hours.
The town of Thebes is draped with moss,
And Ilium's well-known topless towers
Are now a total loss.

Fell Thebes and Troy; and in the grave
Have fallen lords of high degree.
What songs I sang! What gifts I gave!
. . . . She never fell for me.
 
Franklin P. Adams

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  26.     

The Role Of Elegy

The role of elegy is
To put a death mask on tragedy,
A drape on the mirror.
To bow to the cultural
Debate over the aesthetization of sorrow,
Of loss, of the unbearable
Afterimage of the once material.
To look for an imagined
Consolidation of grief
So we can all be finished
Once and for all and genuinely shut up
The cabinet of genuine particulars.
Instead there's the endless refrain
One hears replayed repeatedly
Through the just ajar door:
Some terrible mistake has been made.
What is elegy but the attempt
To rebreathe life
Into what the gone one once was
Before he grew to enormity.
Come on stage and be yourself,
The elegist says to the dead. Show them
Now—after the fact—
What you were meant to be
The performer of a live song.
A shoe. Now bow.
What is left but this:
The compulsion to tell.
The transient distraction of ink on cloth
One scrubbed and scrubbed
But couldn't make less.
Not them, not soon.
Each day, a new caption on the cartoon
Ending that simply cannot be.
One hears repeatedly, the role of elegy is.
 
Mary Jo Bang

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  27.     

Soad

An Elegy On The Death Of Soad Hosni
by Ghazi Al-Gosaibi
Translated by Saleh Badrah

Dusk was strangling the city,
Slaying the soul of chilly, sad London,
Staining its buildings with sighs,
Killing all whom he saw along the road.
I feared he would visit my window
And extend his black nail
Into my eyes, stealing their blackness;
Extend his black fang
Into my chest and wrench my heart.
And suddenly
I spotted the crowd of admirers in the street;
Suddenly
The street erupted with cheers:
Soad! O Soad!
You! O woman with perfect features!
Dusk advanced swiftly like a fearful thief
And London gleamed
Like a wedding night.
I look from my little window:
I am...
I am the princess!
I scatter roses at the huge crowds;
My hair flirts with the clouds
And stars twinkle in my hair.
Sing to us O princess!
I sing... and the tune circulates in the breeze;
My old tune
- Abdel Halim! -
O princess!
We desire a dance,
O princess!
I dance like a young butterfly,
I fasten the admirers in my hair,
Listen to their cheers:
Come closer, O perfect one!
Come closer, your old admirers
Wish to see you near,
Wish to embrace their precious sweetheart.
I advance,
I look,
The cheers rise.
I'm here my dear fans,
I've come back to you, a young star,
Your old dazzling darling.
Dusk was unashamed
As he killed the princess.

(London - June 2001)
_____________________
Translated 22 June 2008
Translation Copyright © Saleh Badrah
 
Saleh Badrah

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  28.     

Bon Voyage - And Vice Versa

Propertius: Elegy VIII, Part 1

"Tune igitur demens nec te mea cura moratur?---"


O Cynthia, hast thou lost thy mind?
Have I no claim on thine affection?
Dost love the chill Illyrian wind
With something passing predilection?
And is thy friend--whoe'er he be--
The kind to take the place of me?

Ah, canst thou bear the surging deep?
Canst thou endure the hard ship's-mattress?
For scant will be thy hours of sleep
From Staten Island to Cape Hatt'ras;
And won't thy fairy feet be froze
With treading on the foreign snows?

I hope that doubly blows the gale,
With billows twice as high as ever,
So that the captain, fain to sail,
May not achieve his mad endeavor!
The winds, when that they cease to roar,
Shall find me wailing on the shore.

Yet merit thou my love or wrath,
O False, I pray that Galatea
May smile upon thy watery path!
A pleasant trip,--that's the idea.
Light of my life, there never shall
For me be any other gal.

And sailors, as they hasten past,
Will always have to hear my query:
"Where have you seen my Cynthia last?
Has anybody seen my dearie?"
I'll shout: "In Malden or Marquette
Where'er she be, I'll have her yet!"
 
Franklin P. Adams

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Read more: elegy poems, fairy poems, smile poems, friend poems, sleep poems, hope poems, lost poems, wind poems, light poems
   
 
 
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