Horace Flaccus Hears the Future



I am the son of a slave
A link upon a lineage of slaves
Yet you tell me

Future academics shall employ
My poetry to prop their pale Republic
My verse to dull and neutralise
Unruly student bodies
Sustaining the Zuppa Inglese   –
A broken Briton sweet of Eton Mess

Sinecure professors
Seeking their preferment
Anxious aspirin tans
Applied by British Libraries
Shall learnedly turn to translate
My olive skin to suet

Re-fitting me
In trainer-teacher factories
To petrify a culture
Their own has since demolished

Deluded they supplant it   –
And to what appalling end?



Bernard Saint
Illustration: Claire Palmer






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