Open sky, open roof, open mind

Seferis George

(...) On the sunny side a long empty beach
and the light striking diamonds on the huge walls.
No living thing, the wild doves gone
and the king of Asine, whom we’ve been trying to find for
    two years now,
unknown , forgotten by all, even by Homer,
only one word in the Iliad and that uncertain,
thrown here like the gold burial mask.
You touched it, remember its sound? Hollow in the light
like a dry jar in dug earth:
the same sound that our oars make in the sea.
The king of Asine a void under the mask
everywhere with us everywhere with us, under a name:
“Αsίνην te... Αsίνην te...”
and his children statues
and his desires the fluttering of birds, and the wind
in the gaps between his thoughts, and his ships
anchored in a vanished port:
under the mask a void.

© Translation: Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard
From: Collected poems
Publisher: Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1981

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