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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 ยท 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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