Friday, January 8, 2016


Nineveh Dies Again

Nineveh dies again.
Today her sad, sad name is Mosul.
Look! They burn the idols.

Pyres of ancient manuscripts
that will never rise from their
ashes as jubilant Phoenixes.

Hear! Ishtar wails, out of love,
out of war, as Nineveh is murdered,
again & again, as barbarians drill a

winged bull or smash Assyrian
statues, as history gets effaced.
This is no dystopian novel by

Bradbury. These are not
replicas of Guy Montag
in a movie by Truffaut.

Nineveh dies again.
Sparks of our civilization
turn to dust and chips &

I feel like Verlaine,
I cry with him:“Je suis
l’Empire à la fin de la décadence!” *

Nineveh dies again.
O Nineveh, you precious
flower of Mesopotamia,

your corolla has been
beheaded, may your
seeds never be scattered.

* I am the Empire at the end of decadence

When she is not translating, Alessandra Bava is writing the biography of a contemporary American poet. Her poems and translations have appeared or are upcoming in journals such as Gargoyle, Plath Profiles, THRUSH and Waxwing. Two of her chapbooks, They Talk About Death and Diagnosis, have been published in the States.

No comments:

Post a Comment