Monday, April 28, 2008

Twelve Chapters for Doftana Prison: 11

Yannis Ritsos

Outside the walls of Doftana, the trees stroll about.
Farther below the rivers stroll about. The flowers
gather together in groups and their colors sing.
In the Doftana cemetery, the roses
are like stopped cries on the portico of triumph.

Here, groups of vanguards with their kerchiefs of brilliant red,
groups of young men with forests in their eyes,
groups of young women with five-petalled stars in their hearts
leave their food on the grass
and sing along with the rivers. Because lamentation has no place here.

Our comrades departed so that we would learn to laugh.
These flowers keep safe the design of their dreams.
These trees reproduce their upright stance.
The light reproduces their eyes.

This refreshing wind that we breath
is filtered through the great lungs of communism.

Even I reproduce them, as these lines straight from the Doftana walls,
straight from all the prison walls in the world.

from The Architecture of the Trees (1958) [Collected Poems: The Timely ---pg 353-354]

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