Monday, January 5, 2009


Yannis Ritsos

The way things turned out, nobody, we say, is to blame. One left;
another was killed; the others—how should you account for them now?
The seasons go about their business as usual. Oleanders bloom.
The shadow walks round and round the tree. The pitcher, left out,
motionless in the blazing sun, was scorched though it protected the water.
All the same, he said, we could have moved the pitcher each hour,
stayed in step with the shadow, round and round the tree,
circling until we caught the rhythm, dancing, forgetting
the pitcher, the water, even our thirst—no longer thirsting, just dancing.

May 20, 1968
Partheni concentration camp

from Stones [Collected Poems: I ]

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