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After Catullus. Free Translation of 44

John McAuley

Colours flood, enriching the Tiber’s course
this tribal autumn. Plausibility defends its flow.
Subject to the wet cords of light,
the grainy whorl of light,
to the branches and leaves of light
to the dusty ochre of light
to the muddy reflection of light
and rituals of light.
Candles gutter without intercession.

Sestianus is here,
dumb to taking his meals elsewhere,
and I am sullen with a bundled pain
in my head. Here he comes, an achromatic shade,
taking me away from my books.

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