Saturday, March 31, 2012

Just a little taste... the first poem in EMBLEM, published in December.

adapted from Alciati's Book of Emblems[1]

Emblem 89


Avarice in check, the country at peace,
does not please everyone. Those who fish

for eels, for example, who know how to slice
one into segments thin as paper dollars

for sushi or paste, must find some way
to roil the placid water and churn the bottom

to be successful. (To stir the muck religion
makes a good long stick, or bogus history

wed to rhetoric.) They know just how.
They have fished for eels a thousand years.

[1] Andrea Alciati's Emblematum liber or Book of Emblems, a collection of 212 Latin emblem poems,
was first published in 1531, and was expanded in various editions during the author's lifetime.