I was reading an article in the TLS

about Catullus 101. This isn’t a strict translation – it’s what I mean by a version which is to say that I’ve used the bones of the original and add some of my own preoccupations.

But I think it came out OK…


To get here finally, I’ve had to fly
halfway around the world, and I’ve got here
too late for more than this. That’s why I cry,
give you the gift I owe, a single tear

over your filled-in grave. We have no more
– our lucky grandparents believed so much
in ritual – and when disaster tore
people apart, they knew one day they’d touch

and souls would kiss. Standing around a grave
reading the words was just God’s guarantee.
We don’t believe. No ritual will save
Our souls. And so I know I’ll never see

you more. There is no heaven and no hell.
So, friend, I’ll just say hi, and then farewell.


About rozkaveney

Middleaged, trans, novelist, poet, activist
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One Response to I was reading an article in the TLS

  1. Oh, this hurts. Beautifully, painfully resonant. Kudos.

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