Beyond Mirando City

For Jan Seale Beyond Mirando City There are places where the stricken world tapers to an end: Thin spots, bereft of voice or birds, From which obscure vehicles in endless caravan siphon Essential mysteries or dark green dreams. I’d not stop at such blighted corners of creation, But life draws…

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The Aging Muse (Sappho)

Sappho was an incredible poet of the ancient world, but most of her poetry has been lost to us. In 2004, Michael Gronewald and Robert Daniel announced that a papyrus in the University of Cologne contained poems of Sappho. This text, recovered from a sort of papier-mâché used for Egyptian mummy masks,…

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Where Songs Begin

From my volume of Mesoamerican verse, Flower, Song, Dance: Aztec and Mayan Poetry (Lamar University Press 2013). This poem is the first in a collection of Nahuatl songs known as the “Cantares Mexicanos” or Songs of Mexico written down by indigenous scholars in the 16th century. The original title of…

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Ode 1.5 (Horace)

Ode 1.5 What slender boy bathed in a flowing smell Courts you, Pyrrha, on roses Within some pleasant cave? Whom do you braid that golden hair for, Simple and neat? Ah, how often He’ll weep at how faith and gods change, And he’ll marvel, unaccustomed, At this rough sea that’s…

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