Yannis Ritsos – Poems, Volume I

And Another Night

That silver candle-holder placed
between two empty spaces He tried
to put the candle out and go to bed Then he
compared the strength of his breath
by the resistance of the flame
he discerned the flame’s contour – its faint
bow (to him) a consent
and then the trembling upright pose
He didn’t lie down
He stayed observing within the flame
in an immeasurable forgotten depth
that same body naked invincible
in a new ascension not at all illuminated
while on the right foot of ascending the same
rope was tied and kept following him



Constantine P. Cavafy – Poems


In the prologue of her Alexiad

Anna Komnene laments her widowhood.

Her soul is in vertigo. “And I have rivers

of tears” she says to us “around the eyes…

alas, for the waves” of her life,

“alas, for the revolutions.” Her grief burns her

“to the bones, and the marrow, and the splitting of her soul.”

But the truth seems to be that this power hungry

woman came to know just one intense sorrow;

this proud Greek woman had but one deep regret

(even if she is not admitting it),

that she never managed, with all her cleverness,

to gain the crown; that is was snatched,

almost out of her hands, by the impudent John.