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…

AFTER CATULLUS 101

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.

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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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