POEM BY KOSTAS KARYOTAKIS
For the inglorious poets of the eons
Hated by people and gods
lords fallen from glory, they wilt bitterly
like Verlaire, the only wealth
left to them is rhyme: rich and silvery.
Hugo with “Punishment” gets drunk in
the fearsome revenge of the Olympians
and I shall write a sorrowful ballad
for the inglorious poets.
If Poe lived in misfortune
and if Baudelaire lived as if dead
they were graced with immortality
however no one talks about
the writers of unworthy verse
and Erebus has covered them with a heavy blanket.
But I make this holy offer:
a ballad for the inglorious poets.
Contempt of the world a curse on them
who walk along pale and erect
dedicated to their tragic self-deception
while far away their glory awaits
virginal thought, joyous and deep.
But knowing that all forget them
I nostalgically lament the sorrowful
ballad of the inglorious poets
and sometime in a future day
I want them to say: who was the one
who wrote this poor ballad
for the inglorious poets?