Treasure Island

Giorgos Seferis

(13 March 1900 - 20 September 1971 / Izmir)

Interval of Joy


We were happy all that morning
Ο God how happy.
First the stones the leaves and the flowers shone
and then the sun
a huge sun all thorns but so very high in the heavens.
Α Nymph was gathering our cares and hanging them on the trees
a forest of Judas trees.
Cupids and satyrs were singing and playing
and rosy limbs could be glimpsed amid black laurel
the flesh of young children.
We were happy all that morning;
the abyss was a closed well
ο n which the tender foot of a young faun stamped
do γ ο υ remember its laughter: how happy we were!
And then clouds rain and the damp earth;
you stopped laughing when you reclined in the hut,
and opened your large eyes and gazed
on the archangel wielding a fiery sword

'Ι cannot explain it, ' you said, 'Ι cannot explain it, '
Ι find people impossible to understand
however much they may play with colors
they are all black.


GEORGE SEFERIS. Translated by Kimon Friar.

Submitted: Tuesday, March 14, 2006

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