For a brother

                    Three versions of Catullus 101

by Emma McNeel



tete (for you)


Carried over many lands and over many seas 

I arrive for this, brother, this sick burial,

to do what must be done for you, dead,

and to talk with your mute ash––nothing.


Fortune took you from me, you,

my brother, you, taken from me unfairly,

now, yet, this––the ways of old,

of our fathers, this sad burial I must give you––


Receive my tears, your brother’s crying,

and into forever, brother, farewell and goodbye.




mihi (from me)


After everything it comes to this, brother: 

your burial, what must be done, the rites


Your ash, silent


It’s unfair, there’s 

no reason, brother


Yet still this

What our fathers have done for each other I must do, now,

for you


Me, brother, 

your brother, crying––




frater (my brother, I call you)










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