Yannis Ritsos – Poems, Volume I


He looks again observes discerns

through a distance that has no meaning at all

through endurance that doesn’t humiliate anymore

the moth balls in the paper bag

the dry grape leaves in the leaky pail

the bicycle on the opposite sidewalk.


he hears the knock behind the wall

that same one coded totally alone

the deeper knock. He feels like an innocent

who forgot the dead.

At night he doesn’t

use earplugs anymore – he’s left them

in the drawer along with his medals

and with his last most unsuccessful mask.

Only he doesn’t know this is the last one


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