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Epigrams

ENDORSEMENT OF AN APPLICATION TO THE WRITERSí FUND

We beg the Fund to make another grant
To the above-named author applicant.
We quite agree he writes atrociously,
But his dependents do not know that he
Lacks talentóand a third-rate authorís boys
Eat neither more nor less than Lev Tolstoiís.

JUBILEE

The poetís jubilee! Uncork the wine!
The man has titles and a high position.
The trouble is, he hasnít got one line
Worth printing in a jubilee edition!

TO A FRIEND SEEKING HELP IN PUBLISHING
A BOOK I HAVE NOT READ


Friend, Iíll not leave you in the lurch,
But I, too, have my pride:
Before you rush me off to church,
I want to see the bride.

TO A POET FOND OF BORROWING

You boast fine sheep, a score or more.
But hereís the paradox:
Iíve heard the best ones bleat before
In other peopleís flocks.

TO A POET FRIEND OF WHOM HIS MOTHER,
AN OLD AVAR WOMAN, SAID:


He did not talk in babyhood,
Yet understand him well I could.
Now he can talk, and write as well,
But what he means I cannot tell.

TO THE ONE AND ONLY POET

No other poet lives in your location,
A circumstance you neatly utilise.
Should anyone contest your reputation,
Youíll cease to be a poet in menís eyes.

TO A TRANSLATOR INTO AVAR

The author views your work with aweó
Thatís something to be grateful for.
But Avars think you should be hung
For murdering our mother tongue!



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