George Seferis – Collected Poems

Summer Solstice


And yet in this kind of sleep

the dream so easily turns

into a nightmare.

Like the fish that shone under the waves

and buried itself in the mud of the seafloor

or the chameleon when it changes color.

In the city that turned into a brothel

pimps and harlots

sell rotten charms;

the kore who came from the sea

wears the cow’s hide

to be mounted by the young bull;

the poet

ruffians throw dirt on him

as he sees the statues dripping blood.

You have to escape this sleep;

this whipped skin.

Tasos Livaditis – Poems, Volume II


Sometime while I talk I suddenly start laughing

uncontrollably because I died at twelve years of age.

I remember details, the funeral service, father was

drinking a lot, mother was crying, my older brother

           had gone to the movies

and I, wretched in my coffin, was thinking the evening

           family meeting

and the daring position they had found me with my


For this, I’m saying to you, it’d be perfect if one,

during a night, was able to lift all forgetfulness off

the poor hats and survived eating gauzes in old train

stations only to make an armchair for the leftover apples

or to cry so much that the grandfather’s clock would

            ring again

and tell to all our friends that all who don’t remember

eternity they’ve truly lost it.

Now, the hanged people go up riding the elevator,

           no one notices them,

the old woman is fishing in her lentils for all the old

          drowned men and sometime a delayed one,

at night, sees our titles written on the skin

of the killed dog.

However, Pilot, upon seeing that it was of no use and

everything was just noise, he stopped the ceremony;

they say that during the same night the parish women

          gave birth to small wax semblances

and father, once merchant, after he lost all we had, stood

          outside the stores and

one night I saw him stooped over the garbage “father what

are you doing there?”

“I’m looking for that old cigar”, he said.

Next morning we put him in the Asylum, with a box

of cigars that I managed to buy with some borrowed


Since then I know a lot about parent killers. And I

            gave up smoking.