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


The horse, with straight up neck, stopped by the shore;

it looked afar, over the rough sea. You didn’t know

whether its stand was that of a jolt or carelessness,

hesitation before the wrath of the water or

knowledge of the unbridgeable.

It remained motionless for a while, only

a shiver could be seen running on its sensitive ear

and you couldn’t tell whether it was listening to

            the ocean or its shiver.

Then, with a sudden turn, it turned back, gentle and sad

and yet so snobby.