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Claudia Jardine

Sulpicia 3.13 – Etta James

Love has come such love such love
more shame in stashing blushes
than being famous for getting naked

Venus delivered
put in my pocket

Venus delivered
my telling joy
let those with no joy speak mine

I want no safe letter
not no one reading before Love might –
scandal! oh please

beaten by keeping face
let me say it let me bear it
worth meets worthy

SULPICIA 3.14 – Stevie Nicks

hateful natality
is here

why was I even born?

to be spent in abusive country
trite in its lack of Cerinthus

no saccharine city  
no suitable villa for this girl
no! cold rivulet amongst the vines

uncle ugh
always with this unseasonable journey

taken against my will
that will surrendered
that will you never suffer to be

SULPICIA 3.15 – Katy Perry

have knowledge
the journey abolished
through your bitter girl’s courage

might I
be your birthday present?

let us pass the day
in everything
which you did not imagine

to be coming to you

SULPICIA 3.16 – Nina Simone

how nice it is
your surrender to apathy
in decay

let you have your harlots and their baskets
pinned down in a pile of their own togas

not this daughter of Servius

sting of the pessimists
fancy me giving in
to a nameless bed

SULPICIA 3.17 – Madonna

surely surely
your piety extends to the temple of your girl
altars afire with fever?

why choose to conquer
wretched infection
you not wishing it too

what is the use in evisceration
if you can stomach it
heart unmoving?

SULPICIA 3.18 – Julie Andrews

so hot
my light
these past few days

I mean
of all the stupid things I’ve done
I just

I left you alone last night
coveting my veiled

Claudia Jardine is currently studying Classics, English Literature, Latin and Creative Writing at Victoria University in Wellington. Her poems have previously appeared in StarlingThe Spinoff and Salient.  The above poems are translations from the Latin of Sulpicia, one of the few surviving female poets from antiquity.