Agamemnon [3]


Let’s count up all the convicts whom the Judge
Of hell expels by tossing lots and turns
To labor-camps for awful deeds: I think 
That I, Thyestes, will outdo them all
With my huge crimes. I’m undefeated by
My brother, because I’m full of three of my
Own kids, pulled pork within my guts: I buried
Them deep-fried inside my belly. I ate
My very flesh! And Fortune didn’t stop
At that paternal stain, a pie upon
Dad’s face that serves to dye the sea blood-red,
But dared another even worse, a crime 
To pad my résumé: she ordered me
To chase the damned embraces of my daughter!
Unafraid I took my sentence, grabbed
Fate’s poisoned drink, and drained the cup. I gulped
That crime, compelled. Enforced by Fate so that
I might go through my kids quite thoroughly,
My daughter, swollen from my seed and heavy,
Pregnant with disease, gave birth to something 
Fitting the occasion: a son to match 
Her father. Nature’s topsy-turvy tree
Grown backwards! God, what crime: I’ve mixed up Dad
With Granddad, groom with father, kid with grandkid — 
Day with night. I’ve rendered God aghast,
As if he wants to hide from gangland ghosts.

[I am translating Seneca’s version of Agamemnon into English. It is a very loose translation.]

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