Tasos Livaditis – Poems, Volume II



When, finally, my discomfort intensified I shifted

            to my other foot

on Such Street, yet my feet have ruined me for years;

so I stand at the street light that they won’t have any

            way out anymore;

then, because of the crisis due to my sickness, I had

to pay attention to common things, but, in God’s

             name, get rid of all these pins;

yet the worst of all was the waiting room where

I, the traveller, often lost myself and as I made

beautiful plans in darkness I felt totally useless

in the light, like the coffin maker who looks around

          with worrying eyes

since each person dies at a different hour and Philip,

when he returned from Doomsday (it was perhaps true)

he brought back just a spittoon; I helped him with

            my savings and

the good news starts when you accept, from early

            in the morning, the upcoming night

until, quietly and methodically, using the craftiness

            of many eons,

I kneeled. And let the others stumble on the furniture.


Yannis Ritsos – Poems, Volume II


Don’t take too long — he said to her — don’t

take too long. The grapevine leaves turn reddish

in the fall. The trees kneel before their shade.

Don’t take too long, this wind blows me along.

I get used to the distance. Pride gets tired.

It’s not even pride. The dusk is fading away.

Two lines of lampposts light the seashore.

Useless lights, pale, how useless!

I like them at night. Don’t take too long.

One tiredness signals to the other.

Silent analogy. I prefer them.


Übermensch, poetry by Manolis Aligizakis


     Και σαν να ξεφυλίζαμε τις σελίδες πορνοπεριοδικού

φτάσαμε στο σπίτι του γελωτοποιού. Τον βρήκαμε

με την πλάτη του στον τοίχο να σκέφτεται πόσο

σύντομη είναι η ζωή και πως ο καθένας δικαιώνονταν

μετά το θάνατό του.

      Σε μια στιγμή παροξυσμού φτερά φυτρώσαν

στους ώμους του κι είπε, ‘ξέρω πώς να σας κάνω

να γελάσετε’, και δεν αμφιβάλαμε καθόλου αφού

κι ο βασιλιάς ποτέ δεν τον αμφισβήτησε, γι’αυτό

άλλωστε και τον πλήρωνε, εμείς όμως πάντοτε

αμφιβάλλαμε για το βασιλιά και τους λεκέδες

στο παντελόνι μας που μαρτυρούσαν απιστία, ώσπου

τελικά σηκώθηκε ο Υπεράνθρωπος και χαμογελώντας

αγκάλιασε το γελωτοποιό κι είπε, ‘αδερφέ μου, εσύ είσαι

ο εκλεκτός μου.’


As though going through the pages of a porno-magazine

we arrived at the house of the jester. With his back against

the wall he contemplated on how short life was and how

everyone was justified right after their death.

In a moment of paroxysm he grew wings and said,

‘I know how to make you laugh’, something we never

doubted. After all the king never doubted his creativity,

for this he hired him, however we always doubted

the king and the stains on our pants were witnesses

of infidelity, until finally He stood up, the Übermensch

and smiling at the jester He hugged him saying:

‘my brother, you are my chosen one.’