Sunday, February 15, 2009

Each Evening

Yannis Ritsos

The earth is hard.
Toward evening, as the wind subsides,
some slender broken sticks remain
and a torn undershirt on the rocks.

Over here death walks many times.
These holes in the stone
are from the nails of his shoe soles,
these other holes, in our hearts,
are from them as well.

Each evening the stars seem to grow larger.
Some dates, some signatures, some cryptic fragments
these stars in the sky—we study them each evening
like the names of rebels we study on the prison walls.

The eyes of the newly arrived are two smoke-blackened stones
like those black stones in the solitude of late afternoon
where a refugee family boils dandelion greens.

And the eyes of the other comrades
are the fire between the blackened stones.
And others are the same.
The world is cooking something immense among these eyes.

from Petrified Time (1949) [Collected Poems: Τα Επικαιρικα --- pg 292]

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