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.

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