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This poem is taken from PN Review 157, Volume 30 Number 5, May - June 2004.

From the Greek Anthology, Book XVII Greg Delanty

The Greek Anthology, Book XVII adds to what is known as The Greek Anthology compiled by Constantine Cephalas in the tenth century, which included all the poems up to Book XV, and which Maximum Planudes rearranged in the twelfth or thirteenth century, adding the poems of Book XVI, said also to be a lost book of the Cephalas' anthology. A good account of the history of the anthology is given in Smith's Biographical Dictionary, under Planudes, as W.R. Paton of the Loeb Classical Library series of The Greek Anthology tells us in his preface. The majority of the poems of The Greek Anthology, Book XVII which I have included here are by Gregory of Corkus, Danus, and Rakius. Nothing is known of these writers. That the rhythm and register of these poems generally are the same can be put down to the translator's lack of dexterity and is in keeping with the tenor of the Loeb translations to which I am greatly indebted. I have taken liberties in these versions, and of the three categories of translation which John Dryden distinguished, `metaphrase', `paraphrase' and `imitation', my translations could be set under the final heading. As Katharine Washburn explicates in the introduction to her anthology World Poetry, `imitation' is a `translation in which the poet works from original text but departs from words and sense as he sees fit, sometimes writing as author would have done had he lived in the time and place of the reader'.

News In Flight

We fly over the city. The screen flashes current news.
    Nothing it seems, but killing and mayhem all round.
Daily we're brought low, ashamed at how lowly we've fallen.
    Hardly anyone says a word. Urban lights stretch into
the rural night below. Even fewer mention such wonders.
    The lights are like those of countless pop fans at a concert
holding up candles to their gods, the band Homo sapiens,
    fleeting as any group. Yet gods none the less. Bearing
mayhem on the one hand and marvels on the other,
    as is the way of any band of gods. Yes, gods none the less.
                                                      GREGORY OF CORKUS

Good Company

The water washes up around a rock like a wind-blown
    wedding veil, the whitethorn bushes wave hello

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