For Ammones who died at the age of 29 in the year 610 The Canon
Print
Raphael, you are asked compose a few verses
as an epitaph for the poet Ammones.
Something artistic and even. Assuredly, you can do it,
you are best suited for writing as is fitting
about our poet Ammones.
 
You will, of course, speak of his poems—
but you must also speak of his beauty,
his delicate beauty that we loved.
 
Your Greek is always elegant and harmonious.
But now we need all your skill.
Our sorrow and our love are passing into a foreign tongue.
You must pour your Egyptian feeling into the foreign tongue.
 
Raphael, your verses should be written in such a manner
that they contain, you know, something of our life,
that the rhythm and the phrasing show
that an Alexandrian is writing about an Alexandrian.

Translated by George Valassopoulo

(Translated by George Valassopoulo. The Criterion 8/30, September 1928)

- Original Greek Poem

- Translation by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard