PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
Mark FordLetters And So It Goes
Letters from Young Mr Grace
(aka John Ashbery)

(PN Review 239)
Henry Kingon Toby Martinez de las Rivas
(PN Review 244)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Jamie OsbornIn conversation with Sasha Dugdale
(PN Review 240)
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PN Review Blog
Monthly Carcanet Books
Next Issue Vahni Capildeo The Boisterous Weeping of Margery Kempe Paul Muldoon The Fly Sinead Morrissey Put Off That Mask Jane Yeh Three Poems Sarah Rothenberg Poetry and Music: Exile and Return

This poem is taken from PN Review 197, Volume 37 Number 3, January - February 2011.

Five Poems (translated by Marco Sonzogni and Harry Thomas) Primo Levi
The Dromedary

So many disputes, lawsuits, and wars – what for?
You should try to imitate me.
No water? I do without it,
Careful only not to waste my breath.
No food? I dip into my hump.
When the time is propitious
Grow one yourselves.
And if the hump is flabby
All I need is weeds and straw.
Green grass is lechery and vanity.
Is my voice ugly? Usually I’m silent,
And if I bellow, nobody hears me.
Am I ugly? I’m pleasing to my female,
Who has an eye for quality
And gives the best milk ever.
As for yours, ask her to do the same.
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image