KATERINA GOGOU (the rebellious, the communist, the poet, the actress, the anarchist)

Κατερίνα_Γώγου

25th of MARCH

One day I’ll open the door
to go out to the streets
just like yesterday and
I won’t think but
a piece of my father and
a piece of the sea,
things they left to me,
and the city. This city that they’ve turned rotten
and our friends who vanished.
One day I’ll open the door
straight to the fire and
I’ll enter like yesterday
crying out “fascists!!”
putting up road blocks and throwing stones
with a red banner
gleaming high up in the sunshine.
I’ll open the door
and this, not because I’m afraid,
but, I mean to say,
I had no time to grab them and
that you also have to learn
not to go down the streets
without arms like I did,
I had no time to grab them
because you’ll get lost like I did
“just like that, vaguely”
broken to pieces
of the sea, years of childhood and
red banners.
One day I’ll open the door
and vanish
with the dream of revolution
in the wholesome loneliness
of the conflagrated streets
in the endless loneliness
of the made of carton road blocks
with the epithet—don’t believe in them—
Provocateur.

Translated by Manolis Aligizakis
25 ΜΑΪΟΥ
Ένα πρωί θ’ ανοίξω την πόρτα
και θα βγω στους δρόμους
όπως και χτες.
Και δεν θα συλλογιέμαι παρά
ένα κομμάτι από τον πατέρα
κι ένα κομμάτι από τη θάλασσα
-αυτά που μ’ άφησαν-
και την πόλη. Την πόλη που τη σάπισαν.
Και τους φίλους μας που χάθηκαν.
Ένα πρωί θα ανοίξω την πόρτα
ίσα ολόισα στη φωτιά
και θα μπω όπως και χτες
φωνάζοντας “φασίστες!!”
στήνοντας οδοφράγματα και πετώντας πέτρες
μ’ ένα κόκκινο λάβαρο
ψηλά να γυαλίζει στον ήλιο.
Θ’ ανοίξω την πόρτα
και είναι -όχι πως φοβάμαι-
μα να, θέλω να σου πω, πως δεν πρόλαβα
και πως εσύ πρέπει να μάθεις
να μην κατεβαίνεις στο δρόμο
χωρίς όπλα όπως εγώ
– γιατί εγώ δεν πρόλαβα-
γιατί τότε θα χαθείς όπως και εγώ
“έτσι” “αόριστα”
σπασμένη σε κομματάκια
από θάλασσα, χρόνια παιδικά
και κόκκινα λάβαρα.
Ένα πρωί θ’ ανοίξω την πόρτα
και θα χαθώ
με τ΄όνειρο της επανάστασης
μες την απέραντη μοναξιά
των δρόμων που θα καίγονται,
μες την απέραντη μοναξιά
των χάρτινων οδοφραγμάτων
με το χαρακτηρισμό -μην τους πιστέψεις!-
Προβοκάτορας.

BIOGRAPHY

Katerina Gogou (Greek: Κατερίνα Γώγου; 1 June 1940 – 3 October 1993) was a Greek poet, author and actress. Before her suicide by pill overdose at the age of 53, Gogou appeared in over thirty Greek films. She was born in Athens, Greece.
One of her books was translated into English, “Three clicks left” in the United States in 1983 by Jack Hirschman and published by “Night Horn Books” in San Francisco. The Greek title was, ‘Τρία κλικ αριστερά’, and first published by Kastaniotis in 1978. Her poetry was known for its rebellious and communist content.
As an actress she was known for lesser roles of rebellious free spirited women. She won the first women’s award at the Salonica film festival.
As a poet she is known for her antiestablishment poems and her anarchist ideals. Her verse is filled by indignation and refute however her ideals, her wounded psychological state lead her to suicide at the age of 53.
Numerous poems written by Gogou appeared in the Greek film ‘Parangelia’ about the life of Nikos Koemtzis who, in 1973, killed three individuals (two of whom were policemen) and injured another eight at a bouzouki club in Athens over a dance.

ΒΙΟΓΡΑΦΙΑ
Η Κατερίνα Γώγου (1 Ιουνίου 1940 – 3 Οκτωβρίου 1993) ήταν Ελληνίδα ποιήτρια και ηθοποιός. Ξεκίνησε από μικρή καριέρα στην ηθοποιία αλλά αργότερα στράφηκε στην ποίηση
Ως ηθοποιός είναι γνωστή περισσότερο για δευτερεύοντες ρόλους, όπως στην ταινία το Ξύλο βγήκε από τον Παράδεισο ή το Μια τρελή τρελή οικογένεια. Οι ρόλοι της συνήθως απεικόνιζαν αστείες και ανέμελες γυναίκες. Της έχει απονεμηθεί, στο Φεστιβάλ Θεσσαλονίκης, το Βραβείο Α΄ Γυναικείου ρόλου, για την ταινία Το βαρύ πεπόνι.
Ως ποιήτρια, από την άλλη, είναι γνωστή για τον αντισυμβατικό και συνειρμικό τρόπο γραφής της, καθώς και τις αναρχικές της ιδέες. Οι στίχοι της ήταν γεμάτοι οργή και επαναστατικότητα. Το σκοτάδι της, ο ασυμβίβαστος χαρακτήρας της και η κλονισμένη ψυχολογία της, όμως, την οδήγησαν, σε ηλικία μόλις 53 ετών, στην αυτοκτονία. Πολλά απ’ τα ποιήματά της παρουσιάστηκαν στο φιλμ «Παραγγελιά» που αναφερόταν στη ζωή του Νίκου Κοεμτζή που το 1973 σκότωσε τρία άτομα (δύο απ’ αυτά αστυνομικοί) και τραυμάτισε άλλα οκτώ σ’ ενα μπουζουκξίδικο της Αθήνας κι ο λόγος μια διφωνία για ένα χορό.
Πολλά απ’ τα ποιήματά της παρουσιάστηκαν στο φιλμ «Παραγγελιά» που αναφερόταν στη ζωή του Νίκου Κοεμτζή που το 1973 σκότωσε τρία άτομα (δύο απ’ αυτά αστυνομικοί) και τραυμάτισε άλλα οκτώ σ’ ενα μπουζουκξίδικο της Αθήνας κι ο λόγος μια διαφωνία γιαένα χορό.

THE WASTE LAND–T. S. ELIOT

waste land

There is no water, only light
~Yannis Ritsos

Here is no water but only rock
rock and no water and the sandy road
the road winding above among the mountains
which are mountains of rock without water
if there were water we should stop and drink
among the rock one cannot stop and think
sweat is dry and feet are in the sand
if there were only water amongst the rock
dead mountain mouth of carious teeth that cannot spit
here one can neither stand nor lie nor sit
there is not even silence in the mountains
but dry sterile thunder without rain
there is not even solitude in the mountains
but red sullen faces sneer and snarl
from doors of mud-cracked houses

if there were water

~ The Waste Land, by T.S. Eliot, translated by Manolis Aligizakis

δεν υπάρχει νερό μονάχα φως
~Γιάννης Ρίτσος
Εδώ δεν υπάρχει νερό παρά μόνο βράχια
βράχια κι όχι νερό κι ο αμμώδης δρόμος
ελικωτός δρόμος ψηλά προς τα βουνά
αν υπήρχε νερό θα σταματούσαμε να πιούμε
ανάμεσα στα βράχια δεν μπορείς να σταθείς και να σκεφτείς
στεγνός ιδρώτας και τα πόδια στην άμμο
μόνο αν υπήρχε νερό ανάμεσα στα βράχια
νεκρό του βουνού το στόμα με κίτρινα δόντια που δεν φτύνουν
εδώ δεν μπορείς να σταθείς, να ξαπλώσεις ή να κάτσεις
δεν υπάρχει κάν σιωπή στα βουνά
παρά στείροι κεραυνοί δίχως βροχή
δεν έχει ούτε κάν μοναξιά στα βουνά
παρά μόνο βλοσυρά πρόσωπα χλευαστικά και γλυρίζοντα
απ’ τα πλίνθινα, ηλιοσκασμένα σπίτια

αν υπήρχε νερό

~ Από τη σειρά ποιημάτων Η ΕΡΗΜΗ ΧΩΡΑ του Τ Σ Ελιοτ, μετάφραση Μανώλη Αλυγιζάκη

BLACK LUNGS

images

BREAK

Dim light: his company

walls drain pain to wet floor
comrades eat slowly

bites mix with coal
sitting on lips and outer layer

of flesh cocktail dives
down their throat to stomach

acidic lining embalmed
dark layer of coal-dust

painting inside as the outside
let no piece of flesh stay white

but in their snowwhite dreams

ΣΥΝΤΟΜΗ ΑΝΑΠΑΥΣΗ

Ημίφως: η συντροφιά του

τα τοιχώματα του τούννελ
στάζουν πόνο στο υγρό πάτωμα
καθώς τρώνε όλοι συντροφικά

μπουκιές ανακατεμένες με κάρβουνο
στα χείλη και στο εξωτερικό

της σάρκας τους, το μείγμα βουτά
απ’ το φάρυγγα στο στομάχι

που είναι ταριχευμένο από οξέα
μαύρη επιφένεια σαν καρβουνόσκονη

εσωτερικό βαμμένο όπως και το έξω
κανένα σημείο μη μείνει λευκό

εκτός απ’ τα κατάσπρά τους όνειρα

~BLACK LUNGS, collection in progress, Libros Libertad, 2016

SKIRMISH-ΑΚΡΟΒΟΛΙΣΜΟΣ

Ritsos_front large

SKIRMISH

You know the great loneliness of exile
these infuriated seashores that could be ours though
they are foreign
this air that harasses the window shutters
these window shutters that we have never opened
or closed
though they still trust us with all afternoons
ΑΚΡΟΒΟΛΙΣΜΟΣ

Την ξέρεις τη μεγάλη ερημιά της εξορίας
αυτές τις θυμωμένες ακρογιαλιές που μπορεί νάταν δικές μας
κι είναι ξένες
αυτόν τον αγέρα που βασανίζει τα παραθυρόφυλλα
αυτά τα παραθυρόφυλλα που δεν τ’ ανοίξαμε και δεν τα κλείσαμε
ποτέ
και που ωστόσο μας εμπιστεύονται όλα τ’ απογεύματα

Yannis Ritsos-Poems-translated by Manolis Aligizakis
http://www.libroslibertad.ca

CRUELTY OF EUROZONE CAPITALISM

5428639632_7a02b23b3e_b

The euro ‘family’ has shown it is capable of real cruelty

by Suzanne Moore

Angela Merkel and Jean-Claude Juncker seek to justify their Greek bailout deal, but what kind of family asset-strips one of its members in broad daylight?
The seemingly indestructible Angela Merkel can go without sleep, and still manage a half smile and speak about Greece’s wish to remain in “the euro family”. This may sound reasonable and pleasant. All families have their little local difficulties, don’t they? But they work through them. People see reason. When they are forced to.
By infantilising Greece, Germany resembles a child who closes its own eyes and thinks we can not see it. We can. The world is watching what is being done to Greece in the name of euro stability.
It sees a nation stripped of its dignity, its sovereignty, its future.
What kind of family, we might ask, does this to one of its own members? Even Der Spiegel online described the conditions that have been outlined as “a catalogue of cruelties”, but perhaps we should now put it another way, given Jean-Claude Juncker has denied that the Greek people have been humiliated. Juncker instead says that this deal is a typical “European” compromise. Yes, we see.
The machinations of financial institutions (the troika) have been exposed as much as the institutions themselves. Who runs these banks, and for whom? Twitter slogans talk of the three world wars: the first waged with guns, the second with tanks and this third world war waged by banks. Extreme? Well, there clearly is more than one way to take over a country.
The Eurozone and Germany want regime change in Greece, or at least to split Syriza. Alexis Tsipras has fought tooth and nail for something resembling the debt restructuring that even the International Monetary Fund acknowledges is needed. The incompetence of a succession of Greek governments and tax evasion within Greece is not in doubt. But the creditors of the euro family knew this as they upped their loans, and must now delude themselves that everything they have done has been for the best. It hasn’t, and now that same family will go in and asset-strip in broad daylight a country that can no longer afford basic medicines. In three days Greece is supposed to push through heaps of legislation on privatisation, tax and pensions so it can be even poorer.
There is to be no debt forgiveness in this family. Tsipras has to sell this to his people so the banks can reopen. His endurance has been remarkable, and more will be needed. The unsustainability of Greek debt, even if the country could achieve growth, remains. The words trust and confidence keep being used but by the wrong people. Trust is gone in this European project. François Hollande, ever the pseudo–mediator, may rattle on about the history and culture of Greece. Its value has actually been shown. Its value is purely symbolic. It is worth nothing.
The euro family has been exposed as a loan-sharking conglomerate that cares nothing for democracy. This family is abusive. This “bailout”, which will be sold as being a cruel-to-be-kind deal is nothing of the sort. It is simply being cruel to be cruel.

~ Suzzane Moore, The Guardian
~ http://www.guardian.com

AUSTERITY MEASURES

athena_7

The only reason the EU would force Greece to leave the euro is to punish it
Date: July 2, 2015 – 12:34AM
~ Clive Crook
In my more than 30 years writing about politics and economics, I have never before witnessed such an episode of sustained, self-righteous, ruinous and dissembling incompetence — and I’m not talking about Alexis Tsipras and Syriza. As the damage mounts, the effort to rewrite the history of the European Union’s abject failure over Greece is already underway. Pending a fuller post-mortem, a little clarity on the immediate issues is in order.
On Monday, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said at a news conference that he’d been betrayed by the Greek government.

A woman passes a banner supporting the No vote to the upcoming referendum in Athens. Photo: AP
The creditor institutions, he said, had shown flexibility and sought compromise. Their most recent offer involved no wage cuts, he emphasised, and no pension cuts; it was a package that created “more social fairness”. Mr. Tsipras had misled Greeks about what the creditors were asking. The talks were getting somewhere. Agreement on this package could have been reached “easily” if Mr. Tsipras hadn’t collapsed the process early on Saturday by calling a referendum.
What an outrageous passel of distortion. Since these talks began five months ago, both sides have budged, but Mr. Tsipras has given vastly more ground than the creditors. In particular, he was ready to accede to more fiscal austerity — a huge climb-down on his part. True, the last offer requires a slightly milder profile of primary budget surpluses than the creditors initially demanded; nonetheless, it still calls for severely (and irrationally) tight fiscal policy.
In contrast, the creditors have refused to climb down on the question of including debt relief in the current talks, absurdly insisting that this is an issue for later. On Tuesday, Mr. Tsipras made his most desperate attempt yet to bring the issue forward.
Far from expressing any desire to compromise, dominant voices among the creditors — notably German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, who often seemed to be calling the shots — have maintained throughout that there is nothing to discuss. The program already in place had to be completed, and that was that.
Yes, the program had failed. No, it wouldn’t achieve debt sustainability. Absolutely, it was pointlessly grinding down Greek living standards even further. What did that have to do with it?
Juncker says the last offer made no demand for wage cuts. Really? The offer says the “wage grid” should be modernised, including “decompressing the [public sector] wage distribution”. On the face of it, decompressing involves cuts. If the creditors were calling for public-sector wages to be decompressed upward perhaps they should have made this clear. Regardless, the increases in value-added taxes demanded by the creditors mean lower real wages, public and private alike. As for no pension cuts, the creditors called for phasing out new early-retirement penalties and the so-called social solidarity payment for the poorest pensioners. Those are cuts.
The creditors called for a lot else, too. Remember that the Greek economy is on its knees. Living standards have collapsed and the unemployment rate is 25 per cent. Now read the offer document, and see if you think the advance in “social fairness” that Juncker stressed at his news conference shines through.
But I haven’t mentioned the biggest distortion of all. Noticing for the first time that Greece has EU citizens within its borders, Juncker addressed them directly on the subject of the July 5 referendum. Greeks will be asked whether they accept the offer presented by the creditors – an offer, by the way, that the creditors say no longer stands. “No [to the offer that no longer exists] would mean that Greece is saying no to Europe,” Juncker explained. President Francois Hollande of France clarified: The vote would determine “whether the Greeks want to stay in the euro zone”.
Nonsense. There’s no doubt that Greeks want to stay in the euro system – though I find it increasingly difficult to see why. If Greece leaves the system, it won’t be because Greeks decide to leave; it will be because Europe decides to kick them out.
This isn’t just semantics. There’s no reason, in law or logic, why a Greek default necessitates an exit from the euro. The European Central Bank pulls this trigger by choosing – choosing, please note – to withhold its services as lender of last resort to the Greek banking system. That is what it did this week. That is what shut the banks and, in short order, will force the Greek authorities to start issuing a parallel currency in the form of IOUs.
A truly independent European Central Bank, willing to do whatever it takes to defend the euro system, could have announced that it would keep supplying Greek banks with liquidity. If the Greek banks are deemed in due course to be insolvent (which hasn’t happened yet), that doesn’t have to trigger an exit, either. Europe has the wherewithal and a bank-rescue mechanism that would allow the banks to be taken over and recapitalized. These options are foreclosed because the supposedly apolitical European Central Bank has let Europe’s finance ministers use it as a hammer to extract fiscal concessions from Greece.
Nobody ever imagined that a government default in Europe would dictate ejection from the euro zone. The very possibility would have been correctly recognized as a fatal defect in the design of the system.
If the Greeks vote no, a Greek exit is a possible and even likely consequence. But if it happens, the reason won’t be that Greece chose to go. The reason will be that the European Union and its politicized central bank chose to inflict exit as punishment.

~ Copyright © 2015 Fairfax Media

UBERMENSCH-ΥΠΕΡΑΝΘΡΩΠΟΣ

ubermensch_cover

FIRST TOUCH

As we had almost learned the meaning of the bird’s chirp
the secret of the lion’s calling, to the heights of our primeval
gods we wished to reach, innocent blood that drenched
the virgin’s lips we kissed, lips that once we loved
to the point of grief, serious teachings upheld by stony
shoulders, guideposts we selected before we reached
the first village.
He stood on top of the hovel pitch black clouds encircled
the sky canopy, His voice but a thunder into our ears,
as though God sent, apocalypse re-enacted, the longer
you dwell in fear, He said, the longer you remain slaves.
His head was raised, as if to address someone equal to
Himself, in our veins the blood was boiling as He prepared
a new path for our clan and we had just started to understand
the meaning of this music.

ΠΡΩΤΗ ΕΠΑΦΗ

Μόλις που μάθαμε τι πάει να πει τιτίβισμα πουλιού
και μυστικό στου λιονταριού το κάλεσμα, στο ύψος
των πανάρχαιων θεών μας αποζητήσαμε να φτάσουμε,
αίμα αγνό που έβαψε χείλη παρθένας εφιλήσαμε, χείλη
που κάποτες πολύ λατρέψαμε μέχρι στο σύνορο του πένθους
ώμοι πετρώδεις που υπεράσπισαν διδάγματα σπουδαία
γίναν σηματωροί μας όταν στο πρώτο χωριό φτάσαμε.
Σε μιας καλύβας τη σκεπή ανέβηκε, κατάμαυρα
τα σύννεφα που περιέβαλαν το θόλο του ουρανού
φωνή ίδια βροντή, θεόσταλτη, θα έλεγες, αναπαρίστανε
την αποκάλυψη, ‘όσο πιο πολύ φοβάστε’, είπε, ‘τόσο πιο πολύ
σκλάβοι θα μείνετε.’
Είχε σηκώσει το κεφάλι σαν να `θελε σε κάποιο
να μιλήσει ισάξιό του, το αίμα έβραζε στις φλέβες μας
που ετοίμαζε για την ομάδα μας νέα πορεία και μόλις
που καταλαβαίναμε τούτης της μουσικής το νόημα.

~UBERMENSCH, Ekstasis Editions, Victoria, BC, 2013

CONSTANTINE CAVAFY-POEMS

cavafy copy

THE HORSES OF ACHILLES

When they saw Patroklos dead
who was so brave and strong and young
the horses of Achilles began to cry;
their immortal nature was outraged
at the sight of this work of death.
They reared up and tossed their long manes
they stamped the ground with their hooves and mourned
Patroklos whom they felt was soulless — devastated —
lifeless flesh now — his spirit gone —
defenseless — without breath —
returned from life to the great Nothing.

Zeus saw the tears of the immortal
horses and felt sad. He said, “At the wedding of Peleus
I shouldn’t have acted so mindlessly;
it would have been better if we had not given you away
my unhappy horses! What need did you have to be
down there among miserable humans, playthings of fate.
You whom death cannot ambush, you who will never grow old
you are still tormented by disaster. People
have entangled you in their suffering.” — But
for the endless calamity of death
those two noble animals shed their tears.

ΤΑ ΑΛΟΓΑ ΤΟΥ ΑΧΙΛΛΕΩΣ

Τον Πάτροκλο σαν είδαν σκοτωμένο,
που ήταν τόσο ανδρείος, και δυνατός, και νέος
άρχισαν τ’ άλογα να κλαίνε του Αχιλλέως
η φύσις των η αθάνατη αγανακτούσε
για του θανάτου αυτό το έργον που θωρούσε.
Τινάζαν τα κεφάλια των και τες μακρυές χαίτες κουνούσαν
την γη χτυπούσαν με τα πόδια, και θρηνούσαν
τον Πάτροκλο που ενοιώθανε άψυχο — αφανισμένο
μια σάρκα τώρα ποταπή — το πνεύμα του χαμένο
ανυπεράσπιστο — χωρίς πνοή—
εις το μεγάλο Τίποτε επιστραμένο απ’ την ζωή.

Τα δάκρυα είδε ο Ζεύς των αθανάτων
αλόγων και λυπήθη. «Στου Πηλέως τον γάμο»
είπε «δεν έπρεπ’ έτσι άσκεπτα να κάμω
καλύτερα να μην σας δίναμε άλογά μου
δυστυχισμένα! Τί γυρεύατ’ εκει χάμου
σταν άθλια ανθρωπότητα πούναι το παίγνιον της μοίρας.
Σεις που ουδέ ο θάνατος φυλάγει, ουδέ γήρας
πρόσκαιρες συμφορές σας τυραννούν. Στα βάσανά των
σας έμπλεξαν οι ανθρώποι.»—Ώμως τα δάκρυά των
για του θανάτου την παντοτεινή
την συμφορά εχύνανε τα δυο τα ζώα τα ευγενή.

~Constantine Cavafy, Selected Poems, translated by Manolis Aligizakis, Ekstasis Editions, 2013

SECOND ADVENT OF ZEUS

images

C

And I grew under Apollo’s sun

minutes of expressiveness
alone in darkness and
before I opened my eyes
I was accompanied
by the rule of failure
born blind and
accused of heresy
a revolution in its making
even before I could utter
a groan or a begging cry

I gathered all my strength
to set a date with Death
hours before I appeared
in my mother’s arms
newborn festivity
error permitted
two legs just to walk
a heart as if
to feel emotion and
other human traces
of grandeur

ΙΙΙ

Στον ήλιο του Απόλλωνα μεγάλωσα

λεπτά εκφραστικά
μόνος στα σκοτεινά
πρoτού τα μάτια ανοίξω
είχα για συνοδεία
το νόμο της αποτυχίας
που εγεννήθηκα τυφλός
μ’ είπαν κι αιρετικό
μια επανάσταση στη γέννησή της
πριν καν μια λέξη να ειπώ
κλάμα λυπητερό ή πόνου

συγκέντρωσα όλη τη δύναμη
κι εταχτοποίησα
το ραντεβού μου με το θάνατο
ώρες πριν γεννηθώ
στα χέρια μάνας
νιογέννητη γιορτή
λάθος επιτρεπτό
δυο πόδια για να περπατώ
μία καρδιά
για να αισθάνομαι
κι άλλα ανθρώπινα
μεγαλοσύνης σημάδια

~ΔΕΥΤΕΡΗ ΠΑΡΟΥΣΙΑ ΤΟΥ ΔΙΑ, συλλογή εν εξελίξει.
~SECOND ADVENT OF ZEUS, collection in progress

Constantine Cavafy-Poems/Translated by Manolis Aligizakis

cavafy copy

THE CITY

You said: “I’ll go to another land, to another sea;
I’ll find another city better than this one.
Every effort I make is ill-fated, doomed;
and my heart —like a dead thing—lies buried.
How long will my mind continue to wither like this?
Everywhere I turn my eyes, wherever they happen to fall
I see the black ruins of my life, here
where I’ve squandered, wasted and ruined so many years.”
New lands you will not find, you will not find other seas.
The city will follow you. You will return to the same streets.
You will age in the same neighborhoods; and in these
same houses you will turn gray. You will always
arrive in the same city. Don’t even hope to escape it,
there is no ship for you, no road out of town.
As you have wasted your life here, in this small corner
you’ve wasted it in the whole world.

Η ΠΟΛΙΣ

Είπες «Θά πάγω σ’ άλλη γή, θά πάγω σ’ άλλη θάλασσα.
Μιά πόλις άλλη θά βρεθεί καλλίτερη από αυτή.
Κάθε προσπάθεια μου μιά καταδίκη είναι γραφτή
κ’ είν’ η καρδιά μου—σάν νεκρός—θαμένη.
Ο νούς μου ώς πότε μές στόν μαρασμό αυτόν θά μένει.
Όπου τό μάτι μου γυρίσω, όπου κι άν δώ
ερείπια μαύρα τής ζωής μου βλέπω εδώ,
πού τόσα χρόνια πέρασα καί ρήμαξα καί χάλασα.»
Καινούριους τόπους δέν θά βρείς, δέν θάβρεις άλλες θάλασσες.
Η πόλις θά σέ ακολουθεί. Στούς δρόμους θά γυρνάς
τούς ίδιους. Καί στές γειτονιές τές ίδιες θά γερνάς
καί μές στά ίδια σπίτια αυτά θ’ ασπρίζεις.
Πάντα στήν πόλι αυτή θά φθάνεις. Γιά τά αλλού—μήν ελπίζεις—
δέν έχει πλοίο γιά σέ, δέν έχει οδό.
Έτσι πού τή ζωή σου ρήμαξες εδώ
στήν κώχη τούτη τήν μικρή, σ όλην τήν γή τήν χάλασες.

“C. P. Cavafy-Poems”, Libros Libertad, 2008/Translated by Manolis Aligizakis
http://www.libroslibertad.ca