Thursday, 12 May 2011

pdf files

Well well. It turns out that one can after all, whatever they say, simply copy and paste pdf files straight into the blog. The original line-breaks are lost, which is a pain, especially in the case of poetry, but still: here's one I made earlier:

Waiting for the Barbarians Costas Cavafy
 − What are we waiting for, gathered in the market place? The barbarians are due today.
− Why such inactivity in the Senate? Why are the senators sitting around, not passing laws?
Because the barbarians will arrive today. What more laws can the senators make? When the barbarians come they will make their own laws.
− Why does our emperor, up so early, sit at the city’s greatest gate, up on his throne, in pomp, wearing his crown?
Because the barbarians will arrive today. And the emperor waits to receive their leader. Of course, he has prepared a parchment to give him: on it are written lots of titles and names.
− Why did both our consuls, and the praetors, come out today in their red embroidered togas? Why are they wearing such amethyst-rich bracelets, and rings with bright shiny emeralds? Why are they carrying, today, expensive maces strangely inlaid with silver and gold?
Because the barbarians will arrive today, and such things dazzle barbarians.
− Why don’t the rhetoricians come as usual, to pour out their sentences, to make their speeches?
Because the barbarians will arrive today, and they’re bored by speeches and fine words.
− Why suddenly such uneasiness and confusion? (how serious their faces have become.) Why are the streets and squares emptying so quickly, with everybody going home so very puzzled?
Because night has fallen and the barbarians didn’t come. And some people came back from the borders, and they said there are no barbarians any more.
And now, what will become of us without barbarians? Those people were a sort of solution.

Translated rather quickly by Simon Darragh.

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