Bosnia Tune (1992)
As you pour yourself a scotch,
crush a roach, or scratch your crotch,
as your hand adjusts your tie,
In the towns with funny names,
hit by bullets, caught in flames,
by and large not knowing why,
In small places you don’t know
of, yet big for having no
chance to scream or say good-bye,
People die as you elect
brand-new dudes who preach neglect,
self-restraint, etc. –whereby
Too far off to practice love
for thy neighbor/brother Slav,
where your cherubs dread to fly,
While the statues disagree,
Cain’s version, history
for its fuel tends to buy
those who die.
As you watch the athletes score,
check your latest statement, or
sing your child a lullaby,
Time, whose sharp bloodthirsty quill
parts the killed from those who kill,
will pronounce the latter band
as your brand.
“Bosnia Tune” from COLLECTED POEMS IN ENGLISH by Joseph Brodsky.
Copyright (c) 2000 by the Estate of Joseph Brodsky. Used by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. All rights reserved. www.fsgbooks.com – Poem was originally published in The New York Times.
The preceding text is copyright of the author and/or translator and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.