On the Joy of Young Girls
As soon as I can escape the crowd,
I go and watch
the swarms of young girls
leaving the factories and universities
just like bees
flying from the hives
where they practise their arts,
laughing, singing, full of joy!
Released from work, their hips
are preparing themselves for
a nobler, more ancient work,
pleasing young men
so bewitched by them they're moved to tears!
Their hips will swing
to a deep lyrical rhythm
that rises to a crescendo
until it explodes triumphantly
all over our licentious city!
Only a few priests,
dressed in black,
like true agents of the Devil,
try to oppose the merry-go-round!
What's the point?
The fine speeches
of men who've gone from youth to old age
without ever reaching maturity,
will scatter like everything else that's vain
in the mild September air
where Aphrodite, the Goddess of Sensual Delight,
who came from the sea at Cythera and Paphos,
is being carried naked,
like a courtesan of old Alexandria,
on a chariot shaped like a shell
drawn by swans,
covered with red and white roses
and crimson carnations
and lit by the torches
of a thousand virgins!
Suddenly, on a dark street corner,
I meet the guardians of morality,
their faces haunted by idiocy,
their souls hiding long knives!
Together with my fellow citizens,
I drive them from the gates
of our great city
to the land of the Barbarians,
with their crude customs
and sadistic laws,
condemned by our Republic
from those early days
when Ionia was born from the sea
like a graceful
her hair drawn back
like a hero's wife,
like a heroine!
FROM THE COLLECTION OF POEMS “LA CITE DE LA LUXURE”
PUBLISHED BY ENCRES VIVES, FEBRUARY 2006.
TRANSLATED BY NORTON HODGES ON MARCH 16, 2006