George Seferis-Collected Poems



Ὁ τόπος μας εἶναι κλειστός, ὅλο βουνὰ
ποὺ ἔχουν σκεπὴ τὸ χαμηλὸ οὐρανὸ μέρα καὶ νύχτα.
Δὲν ἔχουμε ποτάμια δὲν ἔχουμε πηγάδια δὲν ἔχουμε πηγές,
μονάχα λίγες στέρνες, ἄδειες κι αὐτές, ποὺ ἠχοῦν καὶ ποὺ τὶς προσκυνοῦμε.
Ἦχος στεκάμενος κούφιος, ἴδιος με τὴ μοναξιά μας
ἴδιος με τὴν ἀγάπη μας, ἴδιος με τὰ σώματά μας.
Μᾶς φαίνεται παράξενο ποὺ κάποτε μπορέσαμε νὰ χτίσουμε
τὰ σπίτια τὰ καλύβια καὶ τὶς στάνες μας.
Κι οἱ γάμοι μας, τὰ δροσερὰ στεφάνια καὶ τὰ δάχτυλα
γίνουνται αἰνίγματα ἀνεξήγητα γιὰ τὴν ψυχή μας.
Πῶς γεννήθηκαν πῶς δυναμώσανε τὰ παιδιά μας;

Ὁ τόπος μας εἶναι κλειστός. Τὸν κλείνουν
οἱ δυὸ μαῦρες Συμπληγάδες. Στὰ λιμάνια
τὴν Κυριακὴ σὰν κατεβοῦμε ν᾿ ἀνασάνουμε
βλέπουμε νὰ φωτίζουνται στὸ ἡλιόγερμα
σπασμένα ξύλα ἀπὸ ταξίδια ποὺ δὲν τέλειωσαν
σώματα ποὺ δὲν ξέρουν πιὰ πῶς ν᾿ ἀγαπήσουν.


Our homeland is closed in, all mountains

that day and night have the low sky as their roof.

We have no rivers, no water wells, no springs

only a few cisterns, even them empty, that echo and that we worship.

A stagnant hollow sound, same as our loneliness

same as our love, same as our bodies.

It seems strange that once we managed to build

our houses, huts and our sheepfolds.

And our marriages, the fresh coronals and our fingers

become inexplicable enigmas to our souls.

How were our children born, how did they grow strong?

Our homeland is closed in. Two black Symplegades

enclose it. When we go down

to the harbours on Sunday to breathe freely

we see lit in the sunset

the broken ships from voyages that never ended

bodies that no longer know how to love.

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