Elegies for the drowned.

Elegies for the drowned. February 6, 2016

Whether it is reading her translation of Lucretius’ On the Nature of Things or perusing my well worn copy of Olives, AE Stallings is without doubt my favorite poet writing in English today.  As an American transplant to Greece (see the embedded video for Stallings reading a poem about her and her husband’s ending up there), Stallings has witnessed firsthand the tragedy unfolding in the Aegean and has elegized its victims in short, polished, abysmal, and heartrending verses.  Here are a few samples:



Which one seems more chilling:
Copenhagen willing
To confiscate cash and bauble
From Mosul, Homs, and Kabul;
Or smugglers making a killing
Palming Charon’s obol?


A fathom deep, the body lies, beyond all helps and harms,
“Unfathomable, unfathomable,” the news repeats, like charms,
Forgetting that “to fathom” is to hold within your arms.



Of the ones that happened to die, the little ones and the old,
By hypothermia, or drowning, all died of cold.


Read them all over at The Asses of Parnassus.



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