Thursday, February 9, 2012

Odysseus Elytis - This Wind That Loiters


This wind that loiters among the quinces
This insect that sucks the vines
This stone that the scorpion wears next to his skin 
And these sheaves on the threshing floor
That play the giant to small barefoot children

The images of the
On walls that the pine trees scratched with their fingers
This whitewash that carries the noon-day on its back 
And the cicadas, the cicadas in the ears of the trees

Great summer of chalk
Great summer of cork
The red sails slanting in gusts of wind 
On the sea-floor white creatures, sponges
Accordions of the rocks
Perch from the fingers even of bad fishermen
Proud reefs on the fishing lines of the sun

No one will tell our fate, and that is that,
We ourselves will tell the sun’s fate, and that is that.

© Translation: Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard 
From: Sun the first 

I like this poem very much. Odysseus Elytis was born in Heraklion in 1911 and died in Athens in 1996. In 1979 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. Most of his poetry is very difficult to understand, even in translation, so I was pleased to come across this one. 

I hope you like it,

Love Jane x

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