song about executioners


Since the Bourgeois Revolution
One hundred and fifty years ago
Monsieur Guillotine, a Parisian lawyer
Reads of suicides in the morning paper
With tears in his eyes

Senor Bullet in Spain
Your glance could wander off
Towed by some cloud
Unless of course you were blindfolded
Like Lorca

And what's to be said about
Mr. Electric Chair
Credit investments apart
A better symbol
Than William James

The gushing blood is a salute
To Cain, to Ezra Pound
In parantheses to Raskolnikov
The head misunderstanding continues
To order the feet about
But Herr Axe's job is done

Citizen condemned to die
When the chair is pulled from under you
If you can husband your breath
You wil live a short span longer
For death as proferred by Rope Effendi
Is one of polite delay

*Cemal Süreyya
Translated by Nermin Menemencioglu

*Turkish Poetry in Translation

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