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


How bitter the furniture are in the room of a loner.

The table resembles an animal frozen in the cold;

the chair looks like a child lost in the snowed up forest;

the couch is a naked tree pushed over by the wind.

Yet, in a while, something is conducted in here:

a round, diaphanous silence like the glass

of the boatman and you, stooped over that glass,

you see the lucid sunlit sea floor with its crystal,

            dark green schisms

with the exquisite sea verdure; you stare at

the rosy, apathetic, big fishes

with their wide, gentle movements and you don’t know

whether they look for something, they lurk, take

refuge or saunter aimlessly, since their eyes

are so wide open as if totally shut.

This however is irrelevant. Isn’t really enough

that their movements are both beautiful

           and motionless?



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