In tribute to the total solar eclipse that was visible across the United States on Monday, we’re excited to present a poem written nearly 2500 years ago on April 6, 648 BC by Archilochus, a Greek lyric poet from the island of Paros who was well-known for composing poems based on his emotions and experiences. What remains of the poem Archilochus composed is a fragment that recounts a solar eclipse, where, needless to say, things get very weird very quickly. Translated by Aaron Poochigan.
Nothing’s unreasonable, nothing too much, nothing stunning,
now that Zeus the Father of the Gods has cloaked the light
to make it night at noontime, even though the sun was shining.
Terrible dread has fallen upon men. From here on out
all that we human beings have assumed will be in doubt,
and no one should be shocked to see, in briny acres, land
animals, walking creatures, having sex with dolphins, when
their four legs come to love the sounding waves more than the sand,
and dolphins with their flippers come to love a mountain glen.
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