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Seferis, Giorgos: Mythistorema 16. - The name is Orestes (Μυθιστόρημα ΙΣΤ´ - ὄνομα δ᾿ Ὀρέστης in English)

Portre of Seferis, Giorgos

Μυθιστόρημα ΙΣΤ´ - ὄνομα δ᾿ Ὀρέστης (Greek)

Στὴ σφενδόνη, πάλι στὴ σφενδόνη, στὴ σφενδόνη,
πόσοι γύροι, πόσοι αἱμάτινοι κύκλοι, πόσες μαῦρες
σειρές. Οἱ ἄνθρωποι ποὺ μὲ κοιτάζουν,
ποὺ μὲ κοιτάζαν ὅταν πάνω στὸ ἅρμα
σήκωσα τὸ χέρι λαμπρός, κι ἀλάλαξαν.

Οἱ ἀφροὶ τῶν ἀλόγων μὲ χτυποῦν, τ᾿ ἄλογα πότε θ᾿ ἀποστάσουν;
Τρίζει ὁ ἄξονας, πυρώνει ὁ ἄξονας, πότε ὁ ἄξονας θ᾿ ἀνάψει;
Πότε θὰ σπάσουν τὰ λουριά, πότε τὰ πέταλα
θὰ πατήσουν μ᾿ ὅλο τὸ πλάτος πάνω στὸ χῶμα
πάνω στὸ μαλακὸ χορτάρι, μέσα στὶς παπαροῦνες ὅπου
τὴν ἄνοιξη μάζεψες μία μαργαρίτα.
Ἦταν ὡραῖα τὰ μάτια σου μὰ δὲν ἤξερες ποὺ νὰ κοιτάξεις
δὲν ἤξερα ποὺ νὰ κοιτάξω μήτε κι ἐγώ, χωρὶς πατρίδα
ἐγὼ ποὺ μάχομαι ἐδῶ-πέρα, πόσοι γύροι;
καὶ νιώθω τὰ γόνατα νὰ λυγίζουν πάνω στὸν ἄξονα
πάνω στὶς ρόδες πάνω στὸν ἄγριο στίβο,
τὰ γόνατα λυγίζουν εὔκολα σὰν τὸ θέλουν οἱ θεοί,
κανεὶς δὲν μπορεῖ νὰ ξεφύγει, τί νὰ τὴν κάνεις τὴ δύναμη, δὲν μπορεῖς
νὰ ξεφύγεις τὴ θάλασσα ποὺ σὲ λίκνισε καὶ ποὺ γυρεύεις
τούτη τὴν ὥρα τῆς ἀμάχης, μέσα στὴν ἀλογίσια ἀνάσα,
μὲ τὰ καλάμια ποὺ τραγουδοῦσαν τὸ φθινόπωρο σὲ τρόπο λυδικό,
τὴ θάλασσα ποὺ δὲν μπορεῖς νὰ βρεῖς ὅσο κι ἂν τρέχεις
ὅσο κι ἂν γυρίζεις μπροστὰ στὶς μαῦρες Εὐμενίδες ποὺ βαριοῦνται,
χωρὶς συχώρεση.

Uploaded byP. T.
Source of the quotation

Mythistorema 16. - The name is Orestes (English)

On the track, once more on the track, on the track,
how many times around, how many blood-stained laps, how many black
rows; the people who watch me,
who watched me when, in the chariot,
I raised my hand glorious, and they roared triumphantly.

The froth of the horses strikes me, when will the horses tire?
The axle creaks, the axle burns, when will the axle burst into flame?
When will the reins break, when will the hooves
tread flush on the ground
on the soft grass, among the poppies
where, in the spring, you picked a daisy.
They were lovely, your eyes, but you didn’t know where to look
nor did I know where to look, I, without a country,
I who go on struggling here, how many times around?
and I feel my knees give way over the axle
over the wheels, over the wild track
knees buckle easily when the gods so will it,
no one can escape, what use is strength, you can’t
escape the sea that cradled you and that you search for
at this time of trial, with the horses panting,
with the reeds that used to sing in autumn to the Lydian mode
the sea you cannot find no matter how you run
no matter how you circle past the black, bored Eumenides,  

Uploaded byP. T.
Source of the quotation