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

Poem by Manolis Anagnostakis


I speak of the last trumpeting of the defeated soldiers

of the last rags from our festive garments

of our children who sell cigarettes to the passers-by
I speak of the flowers that wilted on the graves and

rot in the rain

of the houses gaping with no windows like toothless


of girls begging and showing the scars of their breasts

I speak of the shoeless mothers who crawl among the ruins

of the conflagrated cities, the corpses piled in

the streets

the pimps poets who shiver by the front steps

during the night

I speak of the endless nights when the light is dimmed

at dawn

of the loaded trucks and the footsteps on the wet


I speak of the prison yard and of the tear of the moribund

but I speak more of the fishermen

who abandoned their nets and followed his steps

and when he got tired they didn’t rest

and when he betrayed them they didn’t reject him

and when he was glorified they turned their eyes the other way

and their comrades spat at them and crucified them

and serene, they took the road that had no end

and their glance didn’t ever darken nor bowed down

standing and lonely amid the horrible loneliness of the crowd


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