George Seferis – Collected Poems

Sirocco 7 Levante

For D.I. Antoniou

Things that changed our face

deeper than thought and more so

ours like the blood and more so

sunken in the sweltering heat of noon

behind the masts.

Amid chains and commands

no one remembers.

The other days, the other nights

bodies, pain and lust

the bitterness of human nakedness in pieces

lower than the pepper trees along dusty streets

and all these charms and all these symbols

on the last branch

in the shadow of the big ship

the memory, a shade.

The hands that touched us don’t belong to us, only

deeper, when the roses darken

a rhythm under the mountain’s shadow, crickets,

moistens our silence in the night

yearning for a pelagic sleep

slipping toward the pelagic sleep.

Under the shadow of the big ship

when the winch whistled

I left tenderness to the money-changers.

Pelion, 19 August 1935


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