Joseph Salvatore Salemi

(New York, NY)

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Joseph Salvatore Salemi (born 1948) is an American poet and educator.

Joseph S. Salemi is an Italian American born in New York, NY, where he lives and works. He teaches in the Department of Humanities at New York University, and in the Classics Department of Hunter College, C.U.N.Y. His poems, essays, scholarly articles, and translations have been published in over 100 journals ... more »

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Best Poem of Joseph Salvatore Salemi

The Missionary's Position

I maintain it all was for the best-
We hacked our way through jungle and sought out
These savage children, painted and half-dressed,
To set their minds at ease, and dispel doubt.

Concerning what? Why, God's immense design,
And how it governs all we do and see.
Before, they had no sense of the divine
Beyond the sticks and bones of sorcery.

Granted, they are more somber and subdued,
Knowing that lives are watched, and judged, and weighed.
Subject to fits of melancholy mood,
They look upon the cross, and are afraid.

What would you have me say? We ...

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