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1120 The market at Navona square (Er mercato de Piazza Navona)
Translated by Peter Nicholas Dale
The fakt, folks, that here ev’ry Wensdi, stuff
Like scrap-iron, tabacca boxes, n’ nicknacks,
Glassware, junk, an assorted jimcracks
Are flogged by rag n’ bone dealers is fair anuf,
There’s no denyen it. But these shelves an stacks
A books, them stupid volyumes an booksellers,
Wot’n the hell’a they’ doen there? Wot c’n fellers
Learn frum all a them lie’bries an paperbacks?
Take a book up on an empty stummick, an wait till
Yu’ve kept it in yer han’ f’ra’n hour or so,
Then tell me if ya hungry or if yu’ve had more’n ya fill.
Wod’ud the priest preach at the Mission? “Them bleeden
Books,” he sed, “ ain’ stuff f’r us witemen, ya know:
So lads, fa mercy’s sake, don’ go an read’em.”
The sonnet is translated into "Strine", the dialect spoken in Australia down to the 1960s.