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Artemis Poems (IV)
Dutiful Wife
Eros in Piccadilly
Erotisis (Question)
Facing Hydra
Fair Hermia
Homage to Sylvia Plath
Letters Home (I)
Letters Home (II)
Letters Home (III)
Letters Home (IV)
Letters Home (V)
Old Flame
Old Photos
Parsifal II
Persephone to Demeter
The Church at Malaucene
The Music
Train Journey


Greek Translations

Άρτεμις IV
Στο Τραίνο


Related pages

Changing the Story
River Work

Facing Hydra

That was how it came about
Taking a turn for the worse initially
And then
After matters had come to a head
With a great sea battle
And the Greek Queen triumphant

Who took it all to pieces and
Put it together again in
One marble monument
One pure written language

Incomprehensible to the layman
Or to the
Numerous stray dogs who
Sun themselves on the flagstones of the Acropolis, asleep;

When will you stop speaking French to me?
When will you master your own tongue
And take it to the streets of Athens

Not such streets as are pieced together by Albanian workers
Or fleeced by cheap Indian cotton
Overclaimed from East and from West

Romantic though it may sound
It's time to rescue that last olive
That final vine, before in perishes,
Drink it, Freeing the barbarian.

You are the barbarians... Beautiful earth.
You the hideous waste
The execrable
The true
The pure marble covered in graffiti,
The turned-away
The turned-away face.

The chastened smile to begin again
Completely afresh, with a plate of figs proffered,

All I have.

© Irene Noel-Baker (2024)