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



I want them to auction me

I want them to put me in jail

I want to be like Sunday

when all of us eat a sweet

I want to become a goldsmith

to cover you in gold dust

I want us to go to America

to meet with Mr. Croesus

I want to travel to India

to get burnt into a deathly pyre

chanting a Buddhist sutra

to throw my bones into the Ganges

I want to travel up the Amazon

against the current — to be eaten

by a flesh eating tropical plant

chanting a magical chant

I want to look deep into your eyes

to beg you to stop

and to be bathed for the second time

in the Niagara waterfall

I want to compete with the shadow

that always follows you

I want to sail with white sails

to Europe with the unions

I want to ascend to heaven

not to think of you ever again

to sit next to the Archangel

and we both read cheap romance magazines


Yannis Ritsos – Poems, Volume III, Second Edition

Breath of the Sea

It was a hot high noon. The window shutters were closed.

If the water was cool, everyone thought,

if we were naked, if the boat with its wet rope, with

strong arms on the oars, passed along the hallway

the sea breath would had already freshened them 

to the edges of their ears. They undressed at once.

Wheat Ears – Selected Poems


He took his place among us

and locking eyes

he said: I have nothing but

a small blue window

on the bay where sheer fancy

grabs moonlit waves

star bursts laughter while

you have nothing that I want

I ferret to escape

it prods me to the exits

to the gate to chase down

crave during those days

that last twelve hours