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Seferis, Giorgos: Mythistorema 5. (Μυθιστόρημα Ε´ in English)

Portre of Seferis, Giorgos

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Μυθιστόρημα Ε´ (Greek)

Δὲν τοὺς γνωρίσαμε ἦταν ἡ ἐλπίδα στὸ βάθος ποὺ ἔλεγε
πὼς τοὺς εἴχαμε γνωρίσει ἀπὸ μικρὰ παιδιά.
Τοὺς εἴδαμε ἴσως δυὸ φορὲς κι ἔπειτα πῆραν τὰ καράβια,
φορτία κάρβουνο, φορτία γεννήματα, κι οἱ φίλοι μας
χαμένοι πίσω ἀπὸ τὸν ὠκεανὸ παντοτινά.
Ἡ αὐγὴ μᾶς βρίσκει πλάι στὴν κουρασμένη λάμπα
νὰ γράφουμε ἀδέξια καὶ μὲ προσπάθεια στὸ χαρτὶ
πλεούμενα γοργόνες ἢ κοχύλια
τὸ ἀπόβραδο κατεβαίνουμε στὸ ποτάμι
γιατὶ μᾶς δείχνει τὸ δρόμο πρὸς τὴ θάλασσα,
καὶ περνοῦμε τὶς νύχτες σὲ ὑπόγεια ποὺ μυρίζουν κατράμι.

Οἱ φίλοι μας ἔφυγαν ἴσως νὰ μὴν τοὺς εἴδαμε ποτές, ἴσως
νὰ τοὺς συναπαντήσαμε ὅταν ἀκόμη ὁ ὕπνος
μᾶς ἔφερνε πολὺ κοντὰ στὸ κύμα ποὺ ἀνασαίνει
ἴσως νὰ τοὺς γυρεύουμε γιατὶ γυρεύουμε τὴν ἄλλη ζωή,
πέρα ἀπὸ τ᾿ ἀγάλματα.

Uploaded byP. T.
Source of the quotation

Mythistorema 5. (English)

We didn’t know them
deep down it was hope that said
we’d known them since early childhood.
We saw them perhaps twice and then they took to the ships:
cargoes of coal, cargoes of grain, and our friends
lost beyond the ocean forever.
Dawn finds us beside the tired lamp
drawing on paper, awkwardly, painfully,
ships mermaids or sea shells;
at dusk we go down to the river
because it shows us the way to the sea;
and we spend the nights in cellars that smell of tar.

Our friends have left us perhaps we
never saw them, perhaps we met them when sleep
still brought us close to the breathing wave
perhaps we search for them because we search for the other life,
beyond the statues.

Uploaded byP. T.
Source of the quotation