excerpt from Fifteen Epigrams in Praise of the Tyrant  (c)

 

 

        1.    Twice, three times may fate strike.

               Thereafter itís the numb beating the numb.

       

        2.    Take heart, Ovid, No sentence is longer than life.

   

        3.    Look, life has been constructed this way

               to make sure

               you wonít ever again yearn for this world.

 

        4.    Hades is an even worse place.

               There arenít any women there.

       

        7.    Before you ask for justice -

               make sure that you wonít get it, just by accident.

 

        8.    The tyrant inspires small poems.

                He

                doesnít understand whatís so special about him.

 

        11. When the tyrant is young, everyone waits

               for him to come to his senses.

               Old.   For him to die.

 

        12.  It has been proposed that the stars

               should be removed from sight.

               No one has been against that.

               The proposal has already been accepted.

 

        14.  How decisively oneís brief moments

               of clear insight

               are ameliorated by a good, plausible ideology.

 

 

                                                       - Paavo Haavikko (b. 1931) Finnish

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