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This poem is taken from PN Review 162, Volume 31 Number 4, March - April 2005.

Three Poems (translated by Greg Delanty) Kyriakos Charalambides

Dying in Alexandria

A month after his death
speeches were given in order:
Greek, French and English
then Italian and Arabic. Of the lot
the dead poet favoured 'Arabic'.
He already reckoned
that the characters of all the other
nations would fade,
- the cities would disappear,
the palaces and emperors,
all that his poetry survived on -
and that the Arab copper would hold out.

'Arabic' will last.
It'll be something like 'Greek' in the age
of its expansion through the Egyptian desert
...


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