Bootstrap Caligula

Bootstrap Caligula
He sees the sun and runs
Pulled up by teeth on the bootstrap
Till his time's nearly done
Who made him emperor
Who told him he was god
Just another petty tyrant
Who's not really any good

Bootstrap Caligula
He aims well but never fires
Wonder where he thinks he's going
Don't think he can go much higher

Bootstrap Caligula
Says the signs are all up above
Wants to read the auguries
Blood from a bleeding dove
He wants immortality
To have his face cast in stone
But at the end of an empire
His kind will be swept along

Bootstrap Caligula
He aims well but never fires
Wonder where he thought he was going
Don't think he could get much higher

Bootstrap Caligula
They carried him off today
He could never get with the program
Somebody had to pay
Now he's another Messiah
A martyr to yesterday
Who once thought
The world owed him something

But every dog has it’s day

by Patti Masterman

Comments (6)

Thanks again to Fabrizio for the clarifications! Such a sad reminder of Auschwitz and the other death camps.
In true sense, Modern poem. Laconic but capable to express a lot. wonderful poem in deed.
I like the translation by Ruth Feldman And Brian Swann, but I'd prefer some little changes.. starting with the title: it is more than a call to reveil, it is a 'command / order': ''GET UP! '' - - The prisoners were not in a 'normal prison': they were in Auschwitz's death camp - - _________ GET UP! We used to dream in those brutal nights Dense, violent dreams Dreamed with soul and body: To return; to eat; to tell our story. Until it sounded - brief, low The command of dawn: Wstawac ''; And the heart cracked in the chest. Now we've recovered our homes, Our bellies are full, We've just finished telling the story. It's time. Soon we'll hear again That foreign command: Wstawac ''. - - ALZARSI Sognavamo nelle notti feroci Sogni densi e violenti Sognati con anima e corpo: Tornare; mangiare; raccontare. Finché suonava breve sommesso Il comando dell’alba: «Wstawac'»; E si spezzava in petto il cuore. Ora abbiamo ritrovato la casa, Il nostro ventre è sazio, Abbiamo finito di raccontare. E’ tempo. Presto udremo ancora Il comando straniero: «Wstawac'». _________ «Wstawac'» is 'Get up' in Polish
Primo Levi's note: ''Wstawac'' means Get up in Polish. It refers to the first 'command', shouted at dawn, in Auschwitz's death camp.
ITALIAN Text: ___________ Alzarsi Sognavamo nelle notti feroci Sogni densi e violenti Sognati con anima e corpo: Tornare; mangiare; raccontare. Finché suonava breve sommesso Il comando dell’alba: «Wstawac'»; E si spezzava in petto il cuore. Ora abbiamo ritrovato la casa, Il nostro ventre è sazio, Abbiamo finito di raccontare. E’ tempo. Presto udremo ancora Il comando straniero: «Wstawac'». 11 gennaio 1946 (Primo Levi)
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