Thursday, September 11, 2008

Midday Summer Dream: 19

Yannis Ritsos

HOW LOUD the birds are when they talk in their sleep.

They're like children who cry out all night long deliriously their songs as though they were reciting them for an exam.

We can't sleep, we hear our songs like bees buzzing around the chamomile of the stars and around our hearts.

The grown ups say we are lazy.

But we know about work—we stay awake until dawn working the large blue field so we wouldn't have to miss the sun's garden over the garden's of men.

Even though they call us lazy, we know about fatigue, we know what it is to plow, from the beginning, the largest field that each day the nettles overgrow.

We know how very tired the small gold hands of the sun beams can get, building those joyous cities of flowers, with the open balconies of the roses, with the lofty bell towers of the lilies.

Others see only sun beams and flowers.

They don't know about our kind of fatigue or our tears.

from Midday Summer Dream (1938) [Collected Poems: Alpha ---pg 350]

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