Yannis Ritsos-Poems, Selected Books, Volume III

YANNIS RITSOS-POEMS, Selected Books, Volume III
Άλλος μου κάρφωσε τα δόντια στο μηρό —λυσσασμένο σκυλί·—
παμπόνηροι Ατρείδες, —
κι ο Τεύκρος να λείπει στα βουνά. Φώναξα: Τεύκρο, Τεύκρο·
φωνή δε βγήκε. Ξαναφώναξα. Κάτω απ’ τα πόδια μου έχανα τη γης. Δεν είχα
να κρατηθώ από πουθενά, μήτε απ’ την ίδια μου τη ζώνη —
καθώς την έψαχνα τυφλά, το ’νιωσα ξάφνου πως ήταν κομμένη
κι αντί να με κρατήσει, την κρατούσα στο χέρι
σάμπως γδαρμένη ουρά ενός άγνωστου, απίθανου ζώου.
Κλείσε τις πόρτες, κλείσε τα παράθυρα, μαντάλωσε τη μάντρα.

The other bit my thigh, like
a rabid dog, the conniving Atreides, and Teucer far
away on the mountains. I yelled, Teucer, Teucer, no answer.
I yelled again, the earth was receding under my feet. I had
nothing to hold onto, not even my own belt, for which
I groped in the darkness when I felt it was cut and while
I held it, it was as if I was holding the skinned tail of an
unknown, unearthly animal.
Close the doors, shut the windows, seal the gate.

Swamped, a novel by Manolis Aligizakis

When Eteocles and Nicolas start attending the elementary school in the area, like children anywhere, they gang up in groups and get into the usual kinds of fights between the groups. In their village those fights mostly center around football games. Eteocles and Nicolas naturally join the team from the upper side of the village, whose fiercest rival is the team from the lower part of the village. Usually there are about ten kids on each side. Eteocles, who is one of the youngest, plays goalkeeper and guards the space between two big stones placed at the proper distance from one another at his team’s end of the field.
Nicolas is always at the front of their team, playing center position and usually scoring most of the goals for their team and making Eteocles feel proud of his brother. And of course there are times when the two teams argue over whether the ball was out or was kicked too high over the imaginary goal posts, and sometimes the argument ends in a fistfight between the kids of the upper village and the lower village, with bloody noses and bruised ribs all too common among these children who often seem to enjoy spending their vitality fighting.
Today is one of those times. After school the two sides gather in the school yard and make all the customary arrangements: putting goal “posts” in place, deciding who will play what positions, and drawing straws to see who has the ball first. Then the game commences. On this day, they play for half an hour and are tied two goals apiece before all hell breaks loose when Nicolas scores a goal the other side calls “out,” and Nicolas and his team insist it was a fair goal and the other team shouts in unison, “Asshole,” which is all the trigger Nicolas needs to land a couple of good blows with his fists on the two nearest kids on the other team, and then they all take part in their ritual and fight, and not even a sudden shower of rain can stop the upper village kids fighting their agemates from the lower village until three or four from each side have bleeding noses and bruised arms and faces. Nicolas of course is the keenest fighter on the upper village side, and he manages to inflict most of the damage on the enemy until everyone has had enough of fighting and the two teams go their separate ways

Richard M. Berlin, Playing God in the Hospital / Παριστάνοντας τον Θεό στο Νοσοκομείο

To Koskino

A fly buzzes
black complain
At the glass

Drown by sunlight Reflected off snow,
It is trapped

Withot design
To know another way
My pager calls
code blue*

And for no reason
at all
I lift the window
and blow a little life
back into the world

Παριστάνοντας τον Θεό στο Νοσοκομείο

Μια μύγα ζουζουνίζει
μαύρο παράπονο
στο τζάμι

Παρασυρμένη από το ηλιόφως
που αντανακλάται από το χιόνι
έχει παγιδευτεί

μ’ άγνοια του σχεδιασμού μιας άλλης πορείας.
Ο βομβητής μου καλεί

τον μπλε κωδικό*
Και χωρίς καμιά

σηκώνω το παράθυρο
και φυσώ μια μικρή ζωή
πίσω στον κόσμο

*Μπλε Κωδικός / Code Blue: Νοσοκομειακός Κωδικός στα Αμερικανικά νοσοκομεία γιατην Επείγουσα Καρδιοαναπνευστική Αναζωογόνηση (ΚΑΡΠΑ). Η αναγγελία από τον υπεύθυνο γιατρό του τέλους της ΚΑΡΠΑ δηλώνει το θάνατο του ασθενούς στον οποίο απέτυχε η ανάταξη / τάξη.

*Το ποίημα περιλαμβάνεται στη συλλογή “Εργαστήριο Ανατομικής”, εκδ. Ένεκεν, Θεσσαλονίκη 2016.
**Μετάφραση: Μίλτος Αρβανιτάκης.

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