Dingo the Dissident

THE BLOG OF DISQUIET : Qweir Notions in the Armpit of Diogenes by DINGO the DISSIDENT binge-thinker since February 2008.
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Thursday, 26 April 2012

A Yeatsian gloss on Cavafy


What are we all waiting for,
crammed into the Square ?
Miracle ? Bird ? Thunderbolt ?
A fabulous son-et-lumière ? Or just
the President's drunken soldiery ?

Why is nobody doing anything ?
Why is it so quiet,
so breathless ?

The Golden Bird is due today,
the superhuman Hades-cockerel,
a glowing glory-bird of man-created metal
to awe the Terrorists.

The Terrorists are due today,
in mire and fury, flames and blood,
flames begat by flesh
upon the marble pavements,
their ancient mummy-cloths
unwound in mire and blood,
and screaming agony of trance.

The Terrorists.
The checkpoints.
The soldiers prance.

Mummy-cloths unwind
and no trains run...

Why now this restlessness,
suddenly all this noise, confusion ?
How grim the faces have become !
Why are the plazas emptying so rapidly,
people rushing home in awful apprehension -
a complicated, dreadful dance ?

Along the winding, nervous paths
the bloody checkpoints.

Before me float the images,
of men or shadows,
misery-begotten ghosts
and golden handiwork of sound and light,
the zombies and the instruments of blood and mire...

The checkpoints.
The Terrorists.

It's midnight. Midnight in Trafalgar Square,
the moon emotionless.

Where are the Terrorists ?
A Big Man has come back from the Frontier,
He says there are too few checkpoints.
He says our vigilance is not enough,
even though those terrorists are a threat no longer.



[click here for Cavafy's original poem]

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