Sunday, April 1, 2007

Iraq War Grief Daily Witness Day 51

Bodies of victims of violence are seen on the floor of a hospital morgue in Kirkuk, about 250 km (150 miles) north of Baghdad, April 1, 2007. Violence in Iraq killed 1,861 civilians in March, a 13 percent increase from the previous month and despite a major security crackdown in Baghdad, Iraqi government tallies showed on Sunday.
REUTERS/Slahaldeen Rasheed (IRAQ)

Posthumous Remorse
by Charles Baudelaire
translated by Keith Waldrop

When you go to sleep, my gloomy beauty, below a black marble monument, when from alcove and manor you are reduced to damp vault and hollow grave;

when the stone—pressing on your timorous chest and sides already lulled by a charmed indifference—halts your heart from beating, from willing, your feet from their bold adventuring,

then the tomb, confidant to my infinite dream (since the tomb understands the poet always), through those long nights in which slumber is banished,

will say to you: "What does it profit you, imperfect courtesan, not to have known what the dead weep for?" —And the worm will gnaw at your hide like remorse.