What’s Creüsa to Us?

(Based on David Ferry’s translation of the Aeneid, II, 692ff, in Poetry (February 2009).) We don’t read poems nowadays to weep, so David Ferry’s Aeneas fleeing Troy, his father on his shoulders, charged to keep the house-gods safe, beside his little boy, his wife Creüsa “a little way behind”, doesn’t yet make us cry: too many of us have fled our native cities, staggering blind, leaving a chaos, scorched, calamitous. But when Aeneas panics, scurrying on through unfamiliar streets of his own town, Iülus clutching, Anchises weighty, heartbroken, reaches their meeting place, and she is gone, and cries aloud, they…

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