Little Soul

By Hadrian Hadrian

Translated By W. S. Merwin Read the translator's notes

Little soul little stray
little drifter
now where will you stay
all pale and all alone
after the way
you used to make fun of things

Hadrian, “Little Soul,” translated by W.S. Merwin from Poetry (April 2006). Copyright © 2006 by W.S. Merwin.

Source: Poetry (April 2006).


This poem originally appeared in the April 2006 issue of Poetry magazine

View this poem in its original format

April 2006


Hadrian (76-138) was born Publius Aelius Hadrianus and named Roman emperor in 117. Nephew and successor to Trajan, he executed his senatorial opponents, abandoned Trajan’s conquests in Armenia and Mesopotamia, and coped with unrest in Mauretania and Parthia. He traveled widely, and many of his accomplishments were related to his visits abroad. He began construction of Hadrian’s Wall (England), completed the temple of Zeus in . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Humor & Satire, Disappointment & Failure, Living, Arts & Sciences

Poetic Terms Epigram, Rhymed Stanza

Report a problem with this poem

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.

Search Every Issue of Poetry

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.