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This poem is taken from PN Review 262, Volume 48 Number 2, November - December 2021.

Leda Deflowered Pierre de Ronsard
(Odes 3:20; 1587 version)

a contrapuntal translation by Sam Trainor

non ego fluminei referam mendacia cygni
nec querar in plumis delituisse Iovem

– Ovid, Heroides (‘Hermione Oriesti’) VIII.65–66

First Pose

Love’s overwhelming stroke,
holed up in my blood,
has scored your signature –
Cassandra – in my flesh,
the arrow’s cut so deep
in cardiac tissue
even the rot of the grave
won’t decompose your likeness.

I can soothe the woods

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