In the latest issue:

Boris Johnson’s First Year

Ferdinand Mount

Short Cuts: In the Bunker

Thomas Jones

Theban Power

James Romm

What can the WHO do?

James Meek

At the Type Archive

Alice Spawls

Where the Poor Lived

Alison Light

At the Movies: ‘Da 5 Bloods’

Michael Wood

Cultural Pillaging

Neal Ascherson

Jenny Offill

Adam Mars-Jones

Shakespeare v. the English

Michael Dobson

Poem: ‘Now Is the Cool of the Day’

Maureen N. McLane

Tativille

David Trotter

Consider the Hare

Katherine Rundell

How Should I Refer to You?

Amia Srinivasan

Poem: ‘Field Crickets (Gryllus campestris)’

Fiona Benson

Diary: In Mali

Rahmane Idrissa

Two Translations of Aeschylus’ ‘Agamemnon’ 1072-1330Anne Carson
Close
Close
Vol. 27 No. 16 · 18 August 2005
Poem

Two Translations of Aeschylus’ ‘Agamemnon’ 1072-1330

Anne Carson

223 words

(i)

CASSANDRA:
My lips rush the night, skull empty-
ing, wide, cold, yolks
gone, was it for this?

is like the moment when
is like the when
is like the

CHORUS:
you amaze me

CASSANDRA:
Apollo!

CHORUS:
lust?

CASSANDRA:
shame!

CHORUS:
come on

CASSANDRA:
we wrestled!

CHORUS:
conceived?

CASSANDRA:
spat him out!

CHORUS:
but still he?

CASSANDRA:
ah my gift!

CHORUS:
bad?

CASSANDRA:
(never) believed!

CHORUS:
oh but we

CASSANDRA:
[screams]

was

it for this the skull glows wide
I know that smell O clear
nightingale
gods wrapt her
in wing a life with no sting but for
me waits SCHISM
of the 2 edged was it

for this the skull blows
wide I know that smell burst-
open bride

CHORUS:
what is it like?
CASSANDRA:
what is what like?
CASSANDRA:
Me a killed slave easy fistful of death
you O humans O human things
a shadow is enough to
a sponge can wipe you off
you I pity

[exit Cassandra]

CHORUS:
as brightness blows the rising
and hang in it, their glory, stare out

death for death for death

(ii)

CASSANDRA:
‘I know that smell’
(Aeschylus, Agamemnon 1333)

Gorges
down black drops white
water after shadows plunge out of
wild all around to deep trees
a white cock crows.
Deer in snow at a deer
angle the
sudden
drenching its
black throat. White what.

Send Letters To:

The Editor
London Review of Books,
28 Little Russell Street
London, WC1A 2HN

letters@lrb.co.uk

Please include name, address, and a telephone number.

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Read More

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences