Saturday, February 13, 2010

A poem for Carnival

Patrick Sammut

On this cold carnival

I shed my clothes and let

cold ground possess me,

and go back to the cavern

where once in nights of yore

I was a man indeed.

I flee the town

and barefoot tread the prickly rocks

drink of the running brook

and leave the imprint of my steps

in the fresh mud.

On this cold carnival

I close my eyes and plug my ears

and in the dark behold the moving hues

and hear the notes primordial

farther from these mine days,

from this mine place so banal.

I’ll taste once more raw flesh

of the wild beasts

roam to the open plains,

mountains and vales, before me

standing eternal,

and soothe these inner torments

so I could smile at last,

without the slightest need of affectation.

(Translated from the Maltese original by poet and translator Alfred Palma)

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