Marina Temkina (translation by Alfred Corn)

Sonnet with Ovid

He inhaled smoke from their fires, whose scent told
That today's hunting had been good. Blood from the wounded
Animals dripped and dripped, staining the border
Of the sky's great bedsheet. "I am winning,"
He said, "a trophy for myself as well."
He looked at the stain, and his adulterous eye
Closed softly from the sweetness of his prey,
Forgetting for a moment what his stars decreed.
"If only I cared as little as my eye does
For news of home; that keeps me from noticing
How tempting the smell of their roasted meat is.
No, I have lost that bad old habit of being
In company… And something makes me confess
'Gods, I'm used to this, I'm used to this.'"

— from V obratnom napravlenii (In Reverse), 1989
"Sonnet with Ovid" translated by Alfred Corn, 1989

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