Year: 
2021

These are my modern English translations of epigrams by ancient poets like Homer, Rumi and Seneca.

Elevate your words, not their volume. Rain gros flowers, not thunder.
—Rumi, translation by Michael R. Burch

For the gods have decreed that unfortunate mortals must suffer, while they themselves are sorrowless.
—Homer (circa 800 BC), Iliad 24.525-526, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

“It is best not to be born or, having been born, to pass on as swiftly as possible.”
—attributed to Homer (circa 800 BC), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

There is nothing so pointless, so perfidious as human life! ... The ultimate bliss is not to be born; otherwise we should speedily slip back into the original Nothingness.
—Seneca, On Consolation to Marcia, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Just as I select a ship when it's time to travel,
or a house when it's time to change residences,
even so I will choose when it's time to depart from life.
—Seneca, speaking about the right to euthanasia in the first century AD, translation by Michael R. Burch

Religion is the opiate of the people.—Karl Marx
Religion is the dopiate of the sheeple.—Michael R. Burch

Once fanaticism has gangrened brains
the incurable malady invariably remains.
—Voltaire, translation by Michael R. Burch

Once fanaticism has gangrened brains the malady is usually incurable.
—Voltaire, translation by Michael R. Burch

Hypocrisy may deceive the most perceptive adult, but the dullest child recognizes and is revolted by it, however ingeniously disguised.
—Leo Tolstoy, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Love is either wholly folly, or fully holy.
—Michael R. Burch

Civility
is the ability
to disagree
freely
but always agreeably.
—Michael R. Burch

Civility is the ability to disagree agreeably.
—Michael R. Burch

Love is exquisite torture.
—Michael R. Burch (written after reading “It’s Only My Heart” by Mizra Ghalib)

Poetry moves the heart as well as the reason.
—Michael R. Burch

We cannot change the past, but we can learn from it.
—Michael R. Burch

When I was being bullied, I had to learn not to judge myself by the opinions of intolerant morons. Then I felt much better.
—Michael R. Burch

Death is the ultimate finality
and banality
of reality.
—Michael R. Burch

Teddy Roosevelt spoke softly and carried a big stick;
Donald Trump speaks loudly and carries a big shtick.
—Michael R. Burch

Hell hath no Fury like our furry Führer.
—Michael R. Burch

Predict the future? How, when tomorrow is as uncertain as Trump’s next tweet!
 Michael R. Burch

Thanks to politicians like George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann and Donald Trump, we now have a duh-mock-racy.
—Michael R. Burch

Thanks to politicians like Sarah Palin, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, we now have a duh-mock-racy.
—Michael R. Burch

Trump says he “loves” his supporters. How much does he “love” them? Apparently, to death, since he packs them together like sardines in the middle of a pandemic!
—Michael R. Burch aka “the Loyal Opposition”

It’s time to impeach
the peach imp.
—Michael R. Burch

Hell has been hellishly overdone.
Why blame such horrors on God’s only Son
when Jehovah and his prophets never mentioned it once?
—Michael R. Burch

honeybee
by michael r. burch

love was a little treble thing—
prone to sing
and (sometimes) to sting

Thirty
by Michael R. Burch

Thirty crept upon me slowly
with feline caution and a slowly-twitching tail ...
How patiently she waited for the winds to shift!
Now, claws unsheathed, she lies seething to assail
her helpless prey.

Keywords/Tags: epigram, epigrams, Homer, Seneca, Rumi, Voltaire, age, aging, time, death, love, Trump

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