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

Poem by Kiki Dimoula


He came back

dressed in the shade of the undefined.

His eyes a sea-floor without a surface

his lips the incision of mystery

his words a vague deck of cards

that flop to one side or the other

his body an incense

and his hair drenched in youth

his laughter the ruin of souls

he hid the wind inside him

that ripped my paper dreams

my tomorrow cried inside me

long time has gone by

since I received the communion of his loss

in a glass gold-plated by autumn

when I covered his picture with the twilight

and I locked up my songs

for a long time that we’ve forgotten each other.

He came back

a day when we unearthed the parchment of our memory

and signed a godly continuance

since we loved each other.

Yesterday we went our separate ways.


Yannis Ritsos – Poems, Selected Books, Volume II, Second Edition


The other boys were playing at the soccer field;

their voices were heard over the roofs of the neighbourhood;

the bounce of the ball was heard too, like a round world

              full of fun and audacity.

However, he was constantly reading by the spring window,

inside a square filled with sad quietness

until, at the end he fell asleep, there, on the window sill

not hearing the voices of his school buddies in the afternoon

nor the early fears of his predominance.

His glasses fell on his nose and resembled a small

bicycle leaning on a tree, far away, in a distant,

sunlit countryside, a bicycle of a child that had died.