Shipwreck is Everywhere

“Bring joy, bring day of his returning”–W.H. Auden, the Wanderer

Callimachus 59 (Wilamowitz 58)

Who are you, shipwrecked wanderer?
Leonticus found your body,
Over there, on the shore,
And buried you here, in this grave.
He wept for his own death-doomed life,
For he himself is not at peace,
Roaming the waters as he does,
Like a seagull.

τίς, ξένος ὦ ναυηγέ; Λεόντιχος ἐνθ:άδε νεκρόν
εὗρέ σ᾽ ἐπ᾽ αἰγιαλοῦ χῶσέ τε τῶιδε τάφωι
δακρύσας ἐπίκηρον ἑὸν βίον: οὐδὲ γὰρ αὐτός
ἥσυχον, αἰθυίηι δ᾽ ἶσα θαλασσοπορεῖ.

Hiroshi Sugimoto–North Sea, Berridale, 1990.

Larry Benn has a B.A. in English Literature from Harvard College, an M.Phil in English Literature from Oxford University, and a J.D. from Yale Law School. Making amends for a working life misspent in finance, he’s now a hobbyist in ancient languages and blogs at

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