Θαλασσογραφία_Thalassography


Seferis George
The light

As the year go by
the judges who condemn you grow in number;
as the years go by and you converse with fewer voices,
you see the sun with different eyes:
you know that those who stayed behind were deceiving you
the delirium of flesh, the lovely dance
that ends in nakedness.
It’s as though, turning at night into an empty highway,
you suddenly see the eyes of an animal shine,
eyes already gone; so you feel your own eyes:
you gaze at the sun, then you’re lost in darkness.
The doric chiton
that swayed like the mountains when your fingers touched it
is a marble figure in the light, but its head is in darkness.
And those who abandoned the stadium to take up arms
struck the obstinate marathon runner
and he saw the track sail in blood,
the world empty like the moon,
the gardens of victory wither:
you see them in the sun, behind the sun.
And the boys who dived from the bow-sprits
go like spindles twisting still,
naked bodies plunging into black light
with a coin between the teeth, swimming still,
while the sun with golden needles sews
sails and wet wood and colors of the sea;
even now they’re going down obliquely,
the white lekythoi,
toward the pebbles on the sea floor.

Light, angelic and black,
laughter of waves on the sea’s highways
tear-stained laughter,
the old suppliant sees you
as he moves to cross the invisible fields—*
light mirrored in his blood,
the blood that gave birth to Eteocles and Polynices.
Day, angelic and black;
the brackish taste of woman that poisons the prisoner
emerges from the wave a cool branch adorned with drops.
Sing little Antigone, sing, O sing…
I’m not speaking to you about things past, I’m speaking
    about love;
decorate your hair with the sun’s thorns,
dark girl;
the heart of the Scorpion has set,*
the tyrant in man has fled,
and all the daughters of the sea, Nereids, Graeae,*
hurry toward the shimmering  of the rising goddess:
whoever has never loved will love,*
in the light:
            and you find yourself
in a large house with many windows open
running from room to room, not knowing from where to
    look out first,*
because the pine-trees will vanish, and the mirrored moun-
    tains, and the chirping of birds
the sea will drain dry, shattered glass, from north and south
your eyes will empty of daylight
the way the cicadas suddenly, all together, fall silent.

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