[From Mars cruel god of war]

By Franco Buffoni Franco Buffoni

Translated By Geoffrey Brock

From Mars cruel god of war
The desire to tie the corpse to the chariot
And drag it around each morning,
From Mercury the idea to put a stop to that
And buy the body back.
Because everything sooner or later becomes a musical
Or a collectible card or figurine
Hitler or the Fierce Saladin
Dracula the Impaler
All stripped of any awareness of suffering:
There is no voice in stones
No word that turns to flesh or blood.
(At that auction held at Bolaffi,
Those intriguing heart-shaped or "C" postmarks
Stamped after their arrival in Florence
On two letters sent from the field to the family
Of a student volunteer at Curtatone.)

Source: Poetry (December 2007).


This poem originally appeared in the December 2007 issue of Poetry magazine

December 2007


Franco Buffoni teaches comparative literature at the University of Cassino. He is the author of several collections of poems, recipient of numerous literary prizes, and director of the journal of theory and practice of poetic translation, Testo a fronte. His poems have been translated into Dutch, English, French, German, and Spanish.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Social Commentaries, History & Politics, War & Conflict, Crime & Punishment


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