Giorgos Seferis

(13 March 1900 - 20 September 1971 / Izmir)

In the Goddess' Name I Summon You


Oil on limbs,
maybe a rancid smell
as on the chapel's
oil-press here,
as on the rough pores
of the unturning stone.

Oil on hair
wreathed in rope
and maybe other scents
unknown to us
poor and rich
and statuettes offering
small breasts with their fingers.

Oil in the sun
the leaves shuddered
when the stranger stopped
and the silence weighed
between the knees.
The coins fell:
‘In the goddess's name I summon you...'

Oil on the shoulders
and the flexing waist
legs grass-dappled,
and that wound in the sun
as the bell rang for vespers
as I spoke in the churchyard
with a crippled man.

Submitted: Sunday, April 15, 2012

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