Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Twelve Chapters for Doftana Prison: 7

Yannis Ritsos

Photographs of tortured faces.
Faces like ships in the night with two lights.
Faces as silent as memory.
Faces as deep as expectation. Unshaven faces—
behind beards their smile
like a skittish bird in a bare tree.

The profound face of Andre Dernat,
the face of Jannis Herdak—behind his sorrow
a thought shines like dawn behind ruins.

The face of Ion Fonaghi with his 29 years
like 29 cypress trees in open country in spring.
His mouth a clenched triangle of resolve. Upon his glasses
the reflections of two mute windows opened in the future.

Silent faces, dear comrades,
brotherly faces of heroes and martyrs,
serious with thought, with hope and certainty,
faces serious and timely
like ripe fruit on the tree of freedom.

from The Architecture of the Trees (1958) [Collected Poems: The Timely ---pg 350-351]

No comments: