Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Shadows of Birds: 47-49

Yannis Ritsos

Outside the wooden huts
a pack of dogs
tearing apart the dolls
of dead children—
meaning is evasive
in the clamor of the day
in the clean undergarments
hung out to dry on the rooftops
while Nikias
waves a white towel
from a window
and is lost inside me.

Athens—May 18, 1980

The quicksilver of the moon
went down slowly
a violin case
left by musicians
remained on the chair
two sailors stayed late
behind the statues
where the lights of passing trains
transfixed them.

Everything was done
without arbitrators
their hats
hung in a line
in the corridor—
the sun was shining
a gas station attendant talked
with a girl—
these and those
concealed the most essential
but I searched for it.

Kalamos—May 18, 1980

from The Shadows of Birds (1980) [Collected Poems: IDelta ---pg 364-365]

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