top of page

Tony Gentry

BREONNA: Poems after Sappho

Updated: May 17

Long backstory here, but amidst the Black Lives Matter protests I found myself fascinated (aghast) at the Breonna Taylor saga and for reasons that remain mysterious to me set about matching her story to a translation of the ancient Greek poet Sappho’s poetry. There are 100 poems and poetic fragments in the translation I followed (a 1958 book with translations by Mary Barnard). Unfortunately, the University of California Press, which owns the rights to this translation, does not approve of any adaptation or reuse of the poems, so my hope of publishing the book seems doomed. Instead, I’m going to throw them up one mashup at a time on Twitter, scattering them to the interweb winds, so to speak. If you’re a Twitter follower (heaven help you), hope you’ll check them out at my Twitter account: @tony_gentry.

As a taste of what I’ve been about, and in hopes of not stirring the wrath of the U of C lawyers, here are a couple of the 100 poems I’ll be putting up on Twitter:


We drink your health Mr. AG!

Now the grand jury we asked for Is over. And your ruling is the ruling They told you to make.

It’s a lie made up Of some lawyer words Slick as snot On a door knob.

See my sign?  See her face, That Love had lit With its own beauty?

Her face on the wall In Paris, London, Nairobi And this all you got For us?


To my editor, in DC:

Some say the National Guard troops, or the armored cars, Or even the Proud Boys In their Hawaiian shirts And bike helmets are the Finest sights at the rallies.

But I say that whoever Marches for love, is.

This is easily proved:

Do not the marchers, Volunteers, risking their health, Some their lives, For justice not move you More than all that Mercenary artillery?

Just posted Poem Number 1 on Twitter, only 99 to go!

0 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page