This website is using cookies

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on this website. 

Seferis, Giorgos: Thrush III - The wreck ‘Thrush’ (Κίχλη Γ´ - Τὸ ναυάγιο τῆς «Κίχλης» in English)

Portre of Seferis, Giorgos

Back to the translator

Κίχλη Γ´ - Τὸ ναυάγιο τῆς «Κίχλης» (Greek)

«Τὸ ξύλο αὐτὸ ποὺ δρόσιζε τὸ μέτωπό μου
τὶς ὦρες ποὺ τὸ μεσημέρι πύρωνε τὶς φλέβες
σὲ ξένα χέρια θέλει ἀνθίσει. Πάρ᾿ το, σοῦ τὸ χαρίζω-
δές, εἶναι ξύλο λεμονιᾶς...»

Ἄκουσα τὴ φωνὴ
καθὼς ἐκοίταζα στὴ θάλασσα νὰ ξεχωρίσω
ἕνα καράβι ποὺ τὸ βούλιαξαν ἐδῶ καὶ χρόνια-
τὄ᾿λεγαν «Κίχλη» ἕνα μικρὸ ναυάγιο- τὰ κατάρτια,
σπασμένα, κυματίζανε λοξὰ στὸ βάθος, σὰν πλοκάμια
ἢ μνήμη ὀνείρων, δείχνοντας τὸ σκαρί του
στόμα θαμπὸ κάποιου μεγάλου κήτους νεκροῦ
σβησμένο στὸ νερό. Μεγάλη ἀπλώνουνταν γαλήνη.

Κι ἄλλες φωνὲς σιγὰ-σιγὰ μὲ τὴ σειρά τους
ἀκολούθησαν- ψίθυροι φτενοὶ καὶ διψασμένοι
ποὺ βγαίναν ἀπὸ τοῦ ἥλιου τ᾿ ἄλλο μέρος, τὸ σκοτεινό-
θἄ ῾λεγες γύρευαν νὰ πιοῦν αἷμα μία στάλα-
ἤτανε γνώριμες μὰ δὲν μποροῦσα νὰ τὶς ξεχωρίσω.

Κι ἦρθε ἡ φωνὴ τοῦ γέρου, αὐτὴ τὴν ἔνιωσα
πέφτοντας στὴν καρδιὰ τῆς μέρας
ἥσυχη, σὰν ἀκίνητη:

«Κι ἂ μὲ δικάσετε νὰ πιῶ τὸ φαρμάκι, εὐχαριστῶ-
τὸ δίκιο σας θἆ ῾ναι τὸ δίκιο μου ποῦ νὰ πηγαίνω
γυρίζοντας σὲ ξένους τόπους, ἕνα στρογγυλὸ λιθάρι.
Τὸ θάνατο τὸν προτιμῶ-
ποιὸς πάει γιὰ τὸ καλύτερο ὁ θεὸς τὸ ξέρει».

Χῶρες τοῦ ἥλιου καὶ δὲν μπορεῖτε ν᾿ ἀντικρίσετε τὸν ἥλιο.
Χῶρες τοῦ ἀνθρώπου καὶ δὲν μπορεῖτε ν᾿ ἀντικρίσετε τὸν

Uploaded byP. T.
Source of the quotation

Thrush III - The wreck ‘Thrush’ (English)

‘This wood that cooled my forehead
at times when noon burned my veins
will flower in other hands. Take it. I’m giving it to you;
look, it’s wood from a lemon tree. . .’

I heard the voice
as I was gazing at the sea trying to make out
a ship they’d sunk there years ago;
it was called ‘Thrush’, a small wreck; the masts,
broken, swayed at odd angles deep underwater, like tentacles,
or the memory of dreams, marking the hull:
vague mouth of some huge dead sea-monster
extinguished in the water. Calm spread all around.

And gradually, in turn, other voices followed,
whispers thin and thirsty
emerging from the other side of the sun, the dark side;
you might say they were asking to drink a drop of blood;
familiar voices, but I couldn’t distinguish one from the other.

And then the voice of the old man reached me; I felt it
falling into the heart of day,
quietly, as though motionless:

‘And if you condemn me to drink poison, I thank you.
Your law will be my law; how can I go
wandering from one foreign country to another, a rolling stone.
I prefer death.
Whose path is for the better only God knows.’

Countries of the sun yet you cannot face the sun.
Countries of men yet you cannot face man.   

Uploaded byP. T.
Source of the quotation