Archive for the ‘πολυγραφέστατος ποιητής’ Category

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DEATHS

They also died naturally and unexpectedly. And they had left
some little bags with stale legumes and some others
with lead balls or with seeds of flowers and vegetables.
No one has opened them since. No one learned what they thought
about the duration in general or their personal duration.
To me – said Maria – it’s impressive that each little bag
is tied with a string of different color – yellow, purple,
olive green, silver. There is no red. Maria said this
and all of a sudden her face quite inexplicably turned red. We
bowed our heads as though being sorrowful; we agreed. Later on
the strings discolored – it wouldn’t show that the red was missing.

ΘΑΝΑΤΟΙ

Πέθαναν κι αυτοί το ίδιο φυσικά κι απροσδόκητα. Κι είχαν αφήσει
κάτι μικρά σακούλια με μπαγιάτικα όσπρια και κάτι άλλα
με μολυβένιους βώλους ή σπόρους φυτών και λουλουδιών. Κανένας
δεν τ’ άνοιξε έκτοτε. Κανένας δεν έμαθε τί σκέφτονταν
για τη διάρκεια γενικώς ή την προσωπική τους διάρκεια. Εμένα
—είπε η Μαρία—μου κάνει εντύπωση που το κάθε σακούλι
είναι δεμένο με σπάγκο σε άλλο χρώμα,—λεμονί, μενεξεδένιο,
λαδί, ασημί. Κόκκινο δεν υπάρχει. Έτσι είπε η Μαρία
και μονομιάς κοκκίνησε ανεξήγητα το πρόσωπό της. Εμείς
γείραμε το κεφάλι, σαν θλιμμένοι, συμφωνήσαμε. Αργότερα
ξεθώριασαν κι οι σπάγκοι—δε φαινότανε πια που το κόκκινο λείπει.

Yannis Ritsos-Selected Poems, Ekstasis Editions, summer 2013, translated by Manolis Aligizakis

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ROMIOSINI-GREEKNESS
Translated from Greek by Manolis

I
These trees don’t take comfort in less sky
these rocks don’t take comfort under foreigners’
footsteps
these faces don’t take comfort but only
in the sun
these hearts don’t take comfort except in justice
This landscape is merciless like silence
it hugs its fiery rocks tightly in its bosom
it hugs tightly in the sun its orphan olive trees
and grapevines
it clenches its teeth There is no water Only light
The road vanishes in light and the shadow of the fence wall
is made of steel
Trees rivers and voices turn to marble
in the sun’s whitewash
The root stumbles on the marble The dusty
bulrush
The mule and the rock They all pant There is
no water
They’ve all been thirsty for years and years They all
chew one bite of sky over their bitterness
Their eyes are red for lack of sleep
a deep wrinkle is wedged between their eyebrows
like a cypress between two mountains
at sundown
their hands are glued to their rifles
their rifles are extensions of their hands
their hands extensions of their souls –
they have anger on their lips
and grief deep within their eyes
like a star in a pothole of salt

From ‘Yannis Ritsos – Poems’ by Manolis

View an introduction to Yannis Ritsos in the Foreword to ‘Yannis Ritsos – Poems’ by Manolis.
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