WORDS Axes After whose stroke the wood rings, And the echoes! Echoes traveling Off from the center like horses. The sap Wells like tears, like the Water striving To re-establish its mirror Over the rock That drops and turns, A white skull, Eaten by weedy greens. Years later I Encounter them on the road---- Words dry and riderless, The indefatigable hoof-taps. While From the bottom of the pool, fixed stars Govern a life. FROM: Ariel SYLVIA PLATH Faber and Faber
The start of fierce winds that lasted through the night and into the next day.
Martial was known for his witty, scathing and sophisticated epigrams: He’s healthy – yet he’s deathly pale; Seldom drinks wine and has a hale Digestion – but looks white and ill; Sunbathes, rouges his cheeks – and still Has a pasty face; licks all the cunts In Rome – and never blushes once. And then you are completely blindsided by: To you, my parents, I send on This little girl Erotion, The slave I loved, that by your side Her ghost need not be terrified Of the pitch darkness underground Or the great jaws of Hades’ hound. This winter she would have completed Her sixth year had she not been cheated By just six days. Lisping my name, May she continue the sweet game Of childhood happily down there In two such good, old spirits’ care. Lie lightly on her, turf and dew: She put so little weight on you. FROM: MARTIAL THE EPIGRAMS Selected and translated by James Michie Penguin Classics