Yannis Ritsos-Poems, Selected Books, Volume II

Posted: 12/05/2022 by vequinox in Literature

Yannis Ritsos-Poems, Selected Books, Volume II

ΙΣΜΗΝΗ///ISMENE

Έστελναν τότε και φωνάζαν τον τυφλό γερο-μάντη. Ένα γλυκό παιδόπουλο
τον κρατούσε απ’ το χέρι. Μεγαλόπρεπος, παμπόνηρος, ωραίος,
με τη μακριά γενειάδα του ώς τα γόνατα, με τα άδεια μεγάλα του μάτια
(θαρρούσα πως υποκρινόταν τον τυφλό και πως τα γένια του ήταν ψεύτικα)
με τη δεσποτική του ράβδο, — απόπνεε νηνεμία, μακαριότητα, πληρότητα·
γνώριζε —λέγανε— τη γλώσσα των πουλιών, της φωτιάς, της σιωπής, των ανέμων·
ένα περιστέρι καθόταν στον ώμο του.
Η αδελφή μου τον φοβόταν,
κρυβόταν πίσω απ’ τη ράχη του ή πήγαινε στ’ άλλο δωμάτιο
κι ήμουν βεβαία πως από κει θα κρυφάκουγε. Εγώ τον αγαπούσα. Μια μέρα
μου ’πιασε το πηγούνι, μου σήκωσε το πρόσωπο. «Θα ’σουνα πιο όμορφη —μου είπε—
αν ήσουν αγόρι». «Είμαι», του είπα. Γελάσαμε
κι οι δυο σαν συνένοχοι. Οι άλλοι οργίζονταν μαζί του
σα να ’φταιγε αυτός για όσα τους μέλλονταν. Χτυπούσε το ραβδί του κι έφευγε.
Πίσω του μέναν κάτι πούπουλα μαύρα, λευκά ή χρυσορόδινα.


Then, they’d call the blind seer. A young sweet boy held him

by the hand. Majestic, cunning, graceful, with a long beard

down to his knees, with his empty eyes (I felt that

he pretended to be blind and his beard was fake), with his

despotic staff, he created around him a sense of serenity,

quietness, contention; they said he spoke the language

of the birds, of fire, of the winds, of silence; a dove

was sitting on his shoulder. My sister was afraid of him,

she would hide behind him or go to the other room and

I was certain she was eavesdropping.  I loved him.

One day he touched my chin and raised my face.

You would had been very handsome, if you were

a boy, he said to me. I am. I said and we both laughed

as if we were conspirators. Others were very angry with him,

as if it was his fault for whatever happened to them. He would

strike the ground with his staff and leave. He would leave

behind him some black or white and rosy down.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s