Wheat Ears – Selected Poems


In the crystal night I’ll find you

again in the plaza close to the same

statue that saw us separating

that cold October morning

you to the west I to the east

from the merging point

of two lives, two lines

going opposite directions but

I’ll come back to you

holding a book in my left

hand and a carnation in the

other just in case you come

looking to stir my emotions

just in case you come yearning

for kisses like that cold

October morning we separated


Neo-Hellene Poets, an Anthology of Modern Greek Poetry 1750-2018

Poem by Odysseus Elytis


Little green sea thirteen years of age

how I would like to adopt you

and send you to school in Ionia

to learn of mandarin and absinthe.

Little green sea thirteen years of age

in the little tower of the lighthouse at high noon

to turn the sun and hear

how destiny becomes undone and how

from hill to hill our distant

relatives still communicate

holding the air like statues.

Little green sea thirteen years of age

with the white collar and your ribbon

enter Smyrna through the window

to copy for me the reflections on the ceiling

and from the God Have Mercy and the Glory to You

and with a little north wind and little lavender

wave by wave come back.

Little green sea thirteen years of age

I would secretly sleep with you

and find deep in your embrace

bits of stones the gods’ words

bits of stones quotations of Heraclitus.