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Mortality 101 – or; Catullus at the graveside

‘I want to explain about the Catullus poem … Catullus wrote poem 101 for his brother who died in the Troad.’ – Anne Carson

I have travelled, brother,
over lands and oceans,
to this field of bones
to observe the rituals
of the final hour,
and mumble pointless words
above your ashes.

Misfortune took you from me –
wrong brother,
wrongly taken –
but all the same
I here perform
the old traditions
of our grim forefathers.

I admit it, I am crying.

to eternity, my brother.
The night is coming

…….– and so goodbye.

NB This is an extremely loose translation (from the Latin), encouraged by Anne Carson’s NOX. Neither Ms Carson nor Catullus should be held accountable, etc, etc.

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