Sunday, January 11, 2009

No, No

Yannis Ritsos

These beautiful heroic (slightly naive, it's true—though still beautiful)
immense white stones and hammers, and those being undressed
in the workshops (mostly muscular wrestlers, boxers)
in imitation of the deeds of others,—one arm raised emphatically,
legs apart in exaggerated balance. No, no—he said—
it’s not to be laughed at, and it goes far beyond sorrow;
that mangy dog, covered with ticks and scabs,
drinking dirty water out of the wash bucket
at the base of the half-finished statues of dead heroes.

May 17, 1968
Partheni concentration camp

note: this translation was originally published in the boxing anthology: Perfect In Their Art: Poems on Boxing from Homer to Ali (Southern Illinois University Press, 2003).

from Stones [Collected Poems: I ]

1 comment:

Anna said...

Helo! I'm an actress and dramatist. I want to write a play about Ismene. I need a monolog Ismene from tehe book "The fourth dimension" Yanis Ritsos.