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

Two Poems (translated from the German by Iain Galbraith) Raoul Schrott

Hannibal - Mont Cenis

beneath the upper world and almost as high the mountains
here rise up and darken the day: thresholds
as far as the yoke of the stars · iron had broken away
from the dome of the sky jagged teeth
on the horizon's ridge and the vault come to lie
askew on the earth: the narrowing mountain
50 000 cavalry and 37 elephants · they stood still
as if they'd looked a gorgon in the face · the sun
in the sky no longer · the shield of the earth was void
                                                  autumn 218 BC


Lucretius - De Rerum Naturae

I

    the way we squeeze a bay leaf
between our fingers and the scent remains the rind

    of green twigs easily peels the locusts
shed their slender shells in summer
...


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