Sunday, April 20, 2008

Twelve Chapters for Doftana Prison: 4

Yannis Ritsos

Comrades, I touch the iron of your beds
I hear your living pulse in the ice cold iron.
I touch your wounded clothing and hear
in every stitch of thread your deep sighs.
Because a comrade's clothing has a secret voice,
a bitterness, a history, a smile.

This wool cap hanging on a nail in the cell
is a dome that shelters a free thought,
a dome for life's new temple; in its hollow
is the imprint of the blood and sweat of a comrade.

This cup is a dome for our own church;
inside the dome a fresco of the blood and sweat—
beautiful, deep, broad-chested tortured,
almighty communism.

from The Architecture of the Trees (1958) [Collected Poems: The Timely ---pg 349]

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