Summer/Fall 1999 • Vol. XXI No. 3/4 Poetry |

Awaiting the Barbarians

From the Greek —What are we waiting for assembled in the marketplace?    It's the barbarians who are coming today. —Why this inactivity taking over the Senate?  What makes the Senators idle, not drafting our laws?    Because the barbarians are coming today.    What laws can the Senators draw up now?    When the barbarians come they'll draft our laws? —Why is our emperor out of bed this early,  sitting at the gate, the city's greatest gate,  formally enthroned, donning his crown?    Because the barbarians will arrive today.    And the emperor awaits to receive    their leader. He has of course prepared    a gift, a parchment, to give him. In it    he engraves for him many titles, many epithets. —Why have our two consuls, our praetors too, come forth  today in their red, their rich embroidered togas;  why do they wear their bracelets studded with amethysts,  their splendid rings

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Unholy Sonnets

By Mark Jarman

From the Greek —What are we waiting for assembled in the marketplace?    It's the barbarians who are coming today. —Why this inactivity taking over the Senate?  What makes the Senators […]

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