Reasoned from a Line of Sophocles in Translation

Suppose this business was inspired by gods.

What then can we mere mortals hope to do,

with our lesser nature, foolish sods,

but surrender to their capricious coup?


We stand exposed to lightning bolts from heaven,

shot down like bottles lined up on a shelf,

in rapid sequence, five and six and seven,

without means to defend ourselves.


Note: From Robert Bagg’s translation of Antigone, published by Harper Perennial.


Copyright 2018

T. Allen Culpepper




I’ve never killed my father

(or even wanted to, barring

a few moments in adolescence),

and being gay, I am at least

doubly unlikely to marry my

mother and produce four

annoying descendants;

furthermore, I suck at riddles

and suck even worse

at crossroads decisions.

Occasionally, though, I do

feel as if I’ve been abandoned

and exposed on a mountainside

or some such desolate place;

myopia, astigmatism, and

glaucoma have limited my sight;

and right now, thanks to

the sting of a ground wasp,

I have the swollen foot.


T. Allen Culpepper