Treasure Island

Giorgos Seferis

(13 March 1900 - 20 September 1971 / Izmir)

II. MYCENAE


I have seen in the night
the sharp peak of the mountain,
seen the plain beyond flooded
with the light of an invisible moon,
seen, turning my head,
black stones huddled
and my life taut as a chord
beginning and end
the final moment:
my hands.

Sinks whoever raises the great stones;
I've raised these stones as long as I was able
I've loved these stones as long as I was able
these stones, my fate.
Wounded by my own soil
tortured by my own shirt
condemned by my own gods,
these stones.

I know that they don't know, but I
who've followed so many times
the path from killer to victim
from victim to punishment
from punishment to the next murder,
groping
the inexhaustible purple
that night of the return
when the Furies began whistling
in the meager grassQ
I've seen snakes crossed with viper~
knotted over the evil generation
our fate.

Voices out of the stone out of sleep
deeper here where the world darkens,
memory of toil rooted in the rhythm
beaten upon the earth by feet
forgotten.
Bodies sunk into the foundations
of the other time, naked. Eyes
fixed, fixed on a point
that you can't make out, much as you want to:
the soul
struggling to become your own soul.

Not even the silence is now yours
here where the mill stones have stopped turning.

October 1935

Submitted: Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Edited: Tuesday, July 06, 2010

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