XLII (Catullus)

Here’s a put-down poem by one of my favorites, Catullus, one of a group of young Roman poets who revolutionized poetry in the 1st century BCE: XLII Come, Hendecasyllables, come one and all, From everywhere, as many as you may be, For an ugly, skanky slut thinks I’m a joke…

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A Prayer to Aphrodite (Sappho)

A Prayer to Aphrodite On your dappled throne, Aphrodite—deathless, Ruse-devising daughter of Zeus: O Lady Never crush my spirit with pain and needless Sorrow, I beg you. Rather come—if ever some moment, years past, Hearing from afar my despairing voice, you Listened, left your father’s great golden halls, and Came…

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The Fall of Bagdad

The Fall of Bagdad[1] Don Pedro wakes this autumn day, Descends the stairs to his bar, And wiping down the rough-hewn wood, Prepares to pour the drinks. For years his cantina thrived on gold That cotton transport culled From slaves that Texas cruelly worked Throughout the Civil War. In fact,…

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Lyrics from Philosophical Zombie

Silence Silence creeps like a thick, white fog To fill her ears and her mind with naught. In the stillness of the blackest night, It amplifies her every fright. Silence— She hates the silence: She wants to fill that void with a joyous sound. The skittering sounds that silence makes…

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Lyrics from This Insubstantial Pageant

Huckleberry Juju Huckleberry juju. Magnolia fire. Bayou flatboat. Palmetto moon. Black snake napping Up in a mossy oak. Hound in the swamp. Cottonmouth rainstorm. Sweetgrass baskets. Catching sense. Brotherhood mended Through taking of hands. Gospel elevation At backwoods church. Gullah conversation With the hoodoo man. Sip some sun-brewed tea, Barbequed…

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