Medea’s Five Lamentations (I)

Translated by Alan McConnell and Rawley Grau

The punishment was fearful, Medea:
over the centuries you extend your limbs
in admonition.
long dark hair
is falling from the sky during the fiercest storm,
lithe curves are rising
up from the ocean,
on forgotten parallels of the earth’s surface
islands of your grief are visited by lost souls.
And by the informed –
to measure out the diameter of riot.
Sharp nails
scratch at the taut globe of the sky,
so that at the right time
the birth fluid is released,
the cordial teat waters the earth
during drought.
Sunk into yourself, Medea, you no longer fall asleep;
in the all-embracing repose
you listen in to the turning of the earth
and the swaying of lovers.
It is for your soul, for your soul
that the scavengers of the law are trading
for they do not know
that the punishment was
for it was no negligence
that you could bear
to gaze at your children’s blood.


Published in the Vilenica 2012 Almanac.