Wednesday Poem

One used to be able to say
what Seneca said to Nero:
“However many people you kill
you can never kill your successor.”
But now the joke may not
be necessarily true: we might
have done it already. So let's
remember what the poet Oppian said:
“The hunting of dolphins is immoral
and the man who willfully kills them
will not only not go to the gods
as a welcome sacrifce, or touch
their altars with clean hands, but will
even pollute the people under his own roof.”

by Alan Dugan
from New and Collected Poems 1961-1983
Ecco Press, 1983