Sunday, June 03, 2007

Curse poems

David Lehman's "Curse" reminded me that I have been meaning to ask people to send me curse poems (titles, links, whole poems).

I first thought of this because of Martin Espada's "For the Jim Crow Mexican Restaurant" (which is on-line here, but you have to go to the end of the page to find it). I also like Glyn Maxwell's "Curse on a Child," and my friend Geoff Brock pointed me to Cynthia Huntington's "Curse One" and "Curse Two: The Naming," while Espada himself mentioned Pablo Neruda's "General Franco in Hell."



Whatever your father says you'll oppose
and believe you're acting on principle.

(David Lehman, "Curse")


mrjumbo said...

One of the oldest, outside of old religious literature and national epics, is this from Martial:

Non amo te, Sabidi, nec possum dicere quare;
Hoc tantum possum dicere, non amo te.

Most famously translated (substituting Dr. Fell for Sabidus):

I do not love thee, Dr. Fell;
The reason why I cannot tell--
But this I know, and know full well:
I do not love thee, Dr. Fell.

Wikipedia tells a story about this translation that sounds too perfect to be true, but it's worthy of the rhyme.

Andrew Shields said...

I could not find the Wikipedia story you are referring to; can you post the link or email it to me?

Andrew Shields said...

My friend Van sent me this one: