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The Iliad

A poem by Jan Lechoń (1899-1956)

Fastidious reader who dreams about Troy,

Who would see all on grand Homeric scale!

Down Warsaw street a blind man stands and holds

a beggar’s cap and sings his city’s tale.

What’s Hecuba to you, Ilion’s no more.

See that old fellow who paused by the door?

Give him your hand and say, “I remember

your son, Priam, he died in September. ”

Yet no despair shall you see awaken

but hope in his eyes, when softly he’ll say:

“All things-comes the end-will not look the same.

I said this long ago: Cassandra’s mistaken.”

Translated by Tomasz Dadlez

The original can be found in Jan Lechoń, Poezje (Warsaw: PIW 1973), p. 83.

Back to the September 2004 Issue
The Sarmatian Review
Last updated 9/10/04