Nikos Gatsos

(8 December 1911 – 12 May 1992 / Asea in Arcadia)

Song Of Old Times


For George Seferis
Times change, years pass
the river of the world is muddy
but I go out on the balcony of a dream
to see you bent over your clay
embroider ships and swallows.
The sea is bitter, our land small
the water in the clouds dear
the cypress wrapped in bareness
the grass burns to ashes in silence
and the hunt of the sun is endless.
And you came and carved a fountain
for the old shipwrecked man of the sea
who vanished but a memory of him
remains
a gleaming shell on Amorgos
a salty pebble on Santorini.
From the dew that shakes on a fern
I have taken the drop of a pomegranate
so I can in this notebook
spell out the longings of a heart
with the first star of a fable.
But now that Holy Tuesday arrives
and Easter will come slowly
I want you to go to Mani and to Crete
with your company there perpetually
the wolf the eagle and the asp.
And when you see the shooting star
from another time shine on your face
secretly with delicate twinkle, stand up
bring back again a spring
that wells up in your own rock
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Times change, years pass
the river of the world clouds over
but I go out on the balcony of a dream
to see you bent over your clay
embroider ships and swallow


ΤΡΑΓΟ ΥΔΙ ΤΟΥ ΠΑΛΙΟΥ ΚΑΙΡΟΥ
Γιὰ τὸν Γιῶργο Σεφέρη
Ἀ&# 955;λάζουν οἱ καιροὶ περνᾶν τὰ χρόνια
τ 59;ῦ κόσμου τὸ ποτάμι εἶναι θολὸ
μὰ ἐγὼ θὰ βγῶ στοῦ ὀνείρου τὰ μπαλκόνι& #945;
γιὰ νὰ σὲ ἰδῶ σκυμμένο στὸν πηλὸ
καρ&# 940;βια νὰ κεντᾶς καὶ χελιδόνι& #945;.
Τό παγο πικρὸ κι ἡ γῆ μας λίγη
καὶ τὸ νερὸ στὰ σννεφα ἀκριβὸ
τ& #8056; κυπαρίσσ& #953; ἡ γύμνια τὸ τυλίγει
64;ὸ χόρτο καίει τὴ στάχτη του βουβὸ
κι ἀτέλειωτ ο τοῦ ἥλιου τὸ κυνήγι.
Κ&# 953; ἦρθες ἐσὺ καὶ σκάλισες μιὰ κρήνη
γι 048; τὸν παλιὸ τοῦ πόντου ναυαγὸ
π&# 959;ὺ χάθηκε μὰ ἡ μνήμη του ἔχει μείνει
κ 59;χύλι λαμπερὸ στὴν Ἀμοργὸ
κ& #945;ὶ βόσαλο ἁρμυρὸ στὴ Σαντονίν& #951;.
Κι ἀπ᾿ τὴ δροσιὰ ποὺ σάλεψε στὴ φτέρη
πῆ&# 961;α κι ἐγὼ τὸ δάκρυ μιᾶς ροδιᾶς
γ&# 953;ὰ νὰ μπορῶ σὲ τοῦτο τὸ δεφτέρι
54;αημοὺς νὰ συλλαβίζ& #969; τῆς καρδιᾶς
&# 956;ὲ τοῦ παραμυθι& #959;ῦ τὸ πρῶτο ἀστέρι.
Μ& #8048; τώρα ποὺ ἡ Μεγάλη φτάνει Τρίτη
κι Ἀνάσταση θ᾿ ἀργήσει νὰ φανεῖ
θέ&# 955;ω νὰ πᾶς στὴ Μὰνι καὶ στὴν Κρήτη
μὲ συντροφι& #7936; σου ἐκεῖ παντοτιν& #8052;
τὸ λύκο τὸν ἀητὸ καὶ τὸν ἀστρίτη.
& #922;ι ἄμα θὰ ἰδεῖς κρυφὰ στὸ μέτωπό σου
νὰ λάμπει μ᾿ άπαλὴ μαρμαρυγ& #8052;
τ᾿ ἀλλοτινὸ πεφτάστε& #961;ο σηκώσου
57;ά ζωντανέψ& #949;ι πάλι μιὰ μηγὴ
ποὺ καρπερεῖ στὸ βράχο τὸ δικό σου
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Ἀλλάζου& #957; οἱ καιροὶ περνᾶν τὰ χρόνια
τ 59;ῦ κόσμου τὸ ποτάμι εἶναι θολὸ
μὰ ἐγὼ θὰ βγῶ στοῦ ὀνείρου τὰ μπαλκόνι& #945;
γιὰ νὰ σὲ ἰδῶ σκυμμένο στὸν πηλὸ
καρ&# 940;βια νὰ κεντᾶς καὶ χελιδόνι& #945;.

Submitted: Thursday, December 08, 2011

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  • Mohammad Muzzammil (12/8/2011 5:27:00 AM)

    nice poem that runs smoothly like water expressing how the time has changed and still changing. --thanks for sharing it. (Report) Reply

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