Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Crab

Yannis Ritsos

And all at once everything scuttled off — shapes, trees, the sea,
events, facts, poetry — far off, very far off,
to a distant shore — he could both see and not see them. Would they
leave and abandon him like this? Immovable, death
dwelt with him, to the edge of his toe nails. At night
he heard the huge, immovable one within him. Always there,
before sleep and after waking, it went on
brushing his teeth with the old, shedding brush,
displaying the last smile — clean, white, certain.

July 27, 1968
Partheni concentration camp

from Stones [Collected Poems:I ]

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