Classical Studies Newsletter, Volume IX, Summer 2003

"swimming at noon always reminds me of Marilyn Monroe" - Etruscan saying

A Poem by Anne Carson 

The Etruscans: Are you blue, Marilyn?
Marilyn: A little blue.
The Etruscans: What do you do when you're blue? 
Marilyn: Go underwater.
The Etruscans: Why?
Marilyn: Slow world, I like that.
The Etruscans: Slow bodies?
Marilyn: Bodies pulled around by faces.
The Etruscans: Diverse faces (sorry!)
Marilyn: Actually, all the same face.
The Etruscans: Frightening? Seductive?
Marilyn: No, beautiful.
The Etruscans: Odd sort of beauty.
Marilyn: Like a new brassiere. 
The Etruscans: Or a very usual verb. 
Marilyn: What?
The Etruscans: For instance the verb 'is'. 
Marilyn: I didn't know 'is' was a verb. 
The Etruscans: What did you think it was?  
Marilyn: A light for the other verbs. 
The Etruscans: In written Etruscan it's the only verb we have.  
Marilyn: You're kidding.  
The Etruscans: Is, was, has been, had been, will be, might be, should be, to be, to have been, to be about to have been, being, being about to be. And of course the negatives of these. 
Marilyn: How do you get married or go to the beach?
The Etruscans: We do such things, just don't write about them.
Marilyn: No novels, no screenplays? 
The Etruscans: No literature.
Marilyn: Why bother with writing at all then?
The Etruscans: It is needed on tombstones. 
Marilyn:  Oh I see.
The Etruscans: Now there's a slow world.
Marilyn: You got that right.
The Etruscans: Now you're sad again. 
Marilyn:  No just thinking. My pain self etc.  
The Etruscans:  Les choses derriere les choses.
Marilyn:  I guess. 
The Etruscans:  Getting colder now. 
Marilyn:  Time to go in.  
The Etruscans:   And tomorrow?
Marilyn:  Tomorrow will certainly be. 
The Etruscans:   You are very funny. 
Marilyn:  So I'm told.  

Index of Topics

  • Letter from the Chair
  • Power Lunches in the Eastern Roman Empire
  • Poem by Anne Carson
  • Classics and the Cinema
  • Pallas Lecture
  • The Advanced Papyrological Information System (APIS) 
  • Upcoming Department Events
  • Email Us!