Friday, June 6, 2008

The Shadows of Birds: 60-61

Yannis Ritsos

Gray morning
Thessaloniki gray
two boys with bicycles
one without
the old woman with a basket
the fisherman stone-still
one ship two ships
gray to the fifth
gray woman
shelling chestnuts
one bites into an apple
gray —
oh saint of gentleness
after death

The others talked
scheme after scheme
Petros got mad
made a gesture at the sky
the rain picked up
the large posters were soaked
it poured off the band shell
in front of the microphone
the rain
recited your poem
not half bad
but rather beautifully
with small pauses
without running everything together
while the sergeant
and the five soldiers
left in the open jeep
for the airstrip.

Thessaloniki—June 2, 1980

from The Shadows of Birds (1980) [Collected Poems: IDelta ---pg 370-371]

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