Mad Prophet (Friedrich Nietzsche)

by Nikolai Bukharin

Prophet in thrall to the mania dark
Behind King Capital’s gilded crown,
How perfidious it is that Fate
Made madness your primal principle.

From under hanging, bushy brows
With gloomy look at us you glare,
Your forehead filled with wrinkled bridges
As though death sentences lurked there.

Your sanguinary delirium
About the ‘will to power’
Morality of the master caste,
The blonde menagerie
That subjugates the people;
Above smoke and blood and bonfires,
About wars without end;
And the Dionysian orgies
Of the predatory beasts.

Your ravings about the ‘Superman’
Above the slaves, ‘the herd’
Of those who under him will kiss
The dust from aeon to aeon.

All of Zarathustra’s aphorisms,
The Virgin soil of paradox,
Are elegant, subtle sophisms
Turning everything to blood.

And it’s no accident that now
War, robbery and every vice
In your high pride are blessed by you,
Prophet of the Lunatic Asylum.

SOURCE: Bukharin, Nikolai. “Mad Prophet (Friedrich Nietzsche),” in The Prison Poems of Nikolai Bukharin: Transformation of the World (Verse about the Ages, and about People), translated by George Shriver (Seagull Books, Calcutta India, 2009), pp. 239-240.

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Uploaded 24 July 2011

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