Saturday, April 26, 2008

Twelve Chapters for Doftana Prison: 10

Yannis Ritsos


Through these square holes in the ceiling
they looked death straight in the eye
looked the night straight in the eye
looked the sun straight in the eye.

Here human daring studied martyrdom.
Here, in the damp and in the dark, the stars of Marxism were lit.
Here, on the tiny sheet of paper loosened from a cigarette
were written the articles of dialectics.

Here was founded the first Romanian University of Revolution.
Here the dead still descend with open eyes the wooden spiral stairs
and go out at night in order sow the wheat and daisies.

from The Architecture of the Trees (1958) [Collected Poems: The Timely ---pg 353]

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