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Two Translations of Aeschylus’ ‘Agamemnon’ 1072-1330Anne Carson
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Vol. 27 No. 16 · 18 August 2005
Poem

Two Translations of Aeschylus’ ‘Agamemnon’ 1072-1330

Anne Carson

223 words

(i)

CASSANDRA:
My lips rush the night, skull empty-
ing, wide, cold, yolks
gone, was it for this?

is like the moment when
is like the when
is like the

CHORUS:
you amaze me

CASSANDRA:
Apollo!

CHORUS:
lust?

CASSANDRA:
shame!

CHORUS:
come on

CASSANDRA:
we wrestled!

CHORUS:
conceived?

CASSANDRA:
spat him out!

CHORUS:
but still he?

CASSANDRA:
ah my gift!

CHORUS:
bad?

CASSANDRA:
(never) believed!

CHORUS:
oh but we

CASSANDRA:
[screams]

was

it for this the skull glows wide
I know that smell O clear
nightingale
gods wrapt her
in wing a life with no sting but for
me waits SCHISM
of the 2 edged was it

for this the skull blows
wide I know that smell burst-
open bride

CHORUS:
what is it like?
CASSANDRA:
what is what like?
CASSANDRA:
Me a killed slave easy fistful of death
you O humans O human things
a shadow is enough to
a sponge can wipe you off
you I pity

[exit Cassandra]

CHORUS:
as brightness blows the rising
and hang in it, their glory, stare out

death for death for death

(ii)

CASSANDRA:
‘I know that smell’
(Aeschylus, Agamemnon 1333)

Gorges
down black drops white
water after shadows plunge out of
wild all around to deep trees
a white cock crows.
Deer in snow at a deer
angle the
sudden
drenching its
black throat. White what.

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