Yannis Ritsos – Poems, Volume II

Posted: 04/06/2023 by vequinox in Literature


They all turn towards you even when they pretend that

they talk about bread or light; even when they pretend

that they look at the ceiling or their poor shoes

which have the expression of a dusty futility. Behind

the binoculars with their two vague gleams left on the table

you can see the cross-eyed glance of the void, supposedly

vague, fixated on them. For this they keep busy with

a sweet willingness to help each other; that each of them

            tries to shoulder

the heaviest job. Yet, outside the house, the crying 

of another child spreads, like a leafless, moist branch

over your space where you reside alone,


in the immense, poignant autumn of your last paleness.


Wheat Ears – Selected Poems

Posted: 04/06/2023 by vequinox in Literature


Athena smiled at me when I observed

that everything fitted in its position

nothing jutted out of place

          in all the sandy corners of the earth

          but the palm tree beseeching

          its skyward direction when

          early in life I learned

          of my secret love: sea

dark blue and merciless

inviting and ardent punisher

of sins told and sanctified

when the goddess chose 

to make a marble cenotaph

and to erect  my statue which

           would speak of greatness

           true demagogue that I was

with a vague smile

upon my face

          she then placed a wilted daffodil

          and a fiery red carnation

          over my heart

it was a sad day when

I drank water to become diaphanous

          before I vanished into the sea’s

          deep blue embrace


Tasos Livaditis – Poems, Volume II

Posted: 04/06/2023 by vequinox in Literature


Rooms For Rent
       Who is he, who always demands and why is it
our fault? We sold our last rags, we worked in suspicious
places, we went in debt and when we moved from
the house he was already there waiting for us
      and the landlady shivered as she opened her door
to us “the empty room, such a cold thing, my god”
she said unsuspectedly.

To Koskino



Γεμίζοντας το σφιχτό και υπέροχο κορμί της
κοτόπουλο με πάπρικα, με κοίταξε
δύο φορές.
Λιγοθυμώντας από ενδιαφέρον, κι εγώ την γούσταρα
και μόνο επειδή υπήρχε ο άντρας της και άλλοι τέσσερις άνθρωποι
βαστήχτηκα να μην χιμήξω πάνω της
ή να πέσω στα μικρά της πόδια και να κλάψω
«Είσαι η πιο φλογερή που εδώ και χρόνια νύχτα
έχουν απολαύσει τα θολωμένα μάτια
του Χένρυ, Μεγαλείο.» Συνέχισα
(απελπισμένος) το παγωτό κοκτέιλ – Ο Κύριος Κοκάλας: είναι γιομάτος,
ο ντουνιάς, από κορίτσια που τρώνε.
– Μαύρα μαλλιά, Λατίνα στην όψη, μάτια πετράδια
χαμηλωμένα… ο βλάχος στο πλάι της γλεντάει… Ποιο θαύμα
την κρατάει καθισμένη, εκεί πέρα; Το εστιατόριο μέσʼ στην οχλοβοή.
Δεν θα τη ένοιαζε κι ας ήταν και στον Άρη.
Που στράβωσε το πράγμα; Θα ʽπρεπε να υπάρχει ένας νόμος ενάντια
στον Χένρυ.
– Ο Κύριος Κοκάλας: υπάρχει.

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George Seferis – Collected Poems

Posted: 03/06/2023 by vequinox in Literature

Epiphany, 1937

The flowering pelagos and the mountains in the waning moon

the great rock near the cactus pear trees and the asphodels

the water pitcher that wouldn’t go dry at the end of the day

and the vacant bed near the cypresses and your hair

golden, the stars of the Swan and that star, Aldebaran.

I got hold of my life, I got hold of my life traveling

among yellow trees in the slanting rain

in silent slopes loaded with beech-tree leaves

no fire on their peaks; it’s getting dark.

I got hold of my life; a line on your left hand

on your knee a scar, perhaps they still exist

in the sand of last summer, perhaps

they are still there where the north wind blew as I hear

the unfamiliar voice around the frozen lake.

The faces I see don’t ask questions nor does the woman

stooping as she walks breastfeeding her baby.

I climb the mountains; bruised ravines; the snow covered

plain, up to the far end the snow-covered plain, they ask nothing

nor does the time enslaved in silent chapels, nor

do the hands outstretched to beg, nor the roads.

I got hold of my life whispering in the boundless silence

I no longer know how to speak nor how to think; whispers

like the cypress’ breath that nightlike the human voice

of the night sea on pebbles

like the memory of your voice saying ‘happiness’.

I close my eyes searching for the secret encounter of waters under the ice,

the smile of the sea, the closed water wells

groping with my veins those veins that escape me

there where the water lilies end and this man

who saunters as though blind on the snow of silence.

I got hold of my life, with him, searching for the water that touches you

heavy drops on the green leaves, on your face

in the vacant garden, drops on the motionless cistern

dropping on a dead swan’s snow-white wings

living trees and your eyes fixated.

This road has no end, doesn’t change, no matter how hard you try

to recall your childhood years, the ones who left those

who got lost in their sleep, the pelagic graves

no matter how hard you ask the bodies you loved to stoop

under the hardened branches of the plane trees there

where the sun ray stood still naked

and a dog leaped and your heart shuddered

the road has no change; I got hold of my life.

The snow

and the frozen water in the horses’ hoof-marks.