Damnatio Memoriae

Nicholas Samaras

 “Damnation of Memory”

How smart the Roman Senate was
to remove from remembrance all those
who brought discredit to their State by various
causes of dishonor. How smart to close
the record of memory, to erase the existence
of anybody: no life, no influence or legacy.
And you, old mentor, alive in some distance—
who were you to earn no clemency,
being the guru in my impressionable youth,
to lead me to view the magazines you read,
the gossip you spread, nothing about you the truth?
I regained myself when I removed you, instead—
the misdemeanor in my life we don’t discuss.
Who were you? I don’t remember us.

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Nicholas Samaras is the author of Hands of the Saddlemaker (Yale Series of Younger Poets) and American Psalm, World Psalm (Ashland Poetry Press). He is from Patmos, Greece, and currently lives in West Nyack, New York, where he is completing a poetry manuscript on the body and working with refugees in Greece.

Crazyhorse

Spring 2018

Charleston, South Carolina

College of Charleston

Poetry Editor: Emily Rosko
Fiction Editor: Anthony Varallo
Nonfiction Editor: Bret Lott
Managing Editor: Jonathan Bohr Heinen

Founded by the poet Tom McGrath in Los Angeles in 1960, Crazyhorse continues to be one of the finest, most influential literary journals published today. Past contributors include such renowned authors as John Updike, Raymond Carver, Jorie Graham, John Ashbery, Robert Bly, Ha Jin, W. P. Kinsella, Richard Wilbur, James Wright, Carolyn Forché, Charles Simic, Charles Wright, Billy Collins, Galway Kinnell, James Tate and Franz Wright. Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winners alike appear regularly in its pages, right alongside Guggenheim fellows, National Endowment for the Arts fellowship recipients, and writers whose work appears in the O. Henry Prize, Pushcart Prize, and Best American anthologies.

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