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

Poem by Odysseus Elytis

LITTLE GREEN SEA

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.

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