Kostas Karyotakis

(1896-1928 / Greece)

My Verses


My verses, children of my blood.
They speak, but I supply the words
like fragments of my heart,
I offer them like tears from my eyes.

They go with bitter smiles
when I recount so much of life.
I girdle them with sun and day and sun
for when I'm overtaken by the night.

They fix the limits of the sky and earth.
And yet my sons still wonder what is missing
always bored, worn down,
the only mother they have known is Grief.

I pour out the laughter of the sweetest tune,
the aimless passion of the flute;
to them I am an unsuspecting king
who's lost his people's love.

They waste away, they fade away, yet
never cease their quiet lamentation.
Pass by, Mortal, with averted gaze;
Lethe, carry me in your boat to bathe.

Submitted: Friday, September 17, 2010

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