Long did I journey into exile
banished by Augustus
to lose my life hour by hour.
The ship was already thinning out, day by day,
until it only just touched the waves.
The only thing of any weight was my heart.
It sank like the anchor
at this Black Sea coast.
Scudding clouds sought to wipe out my name,
the gibberish spoken to silence my home tongue.
But my Epistulae insisted on being written –
these shards of sorrow that shimmered.