Euphemisms of an old lady

Share

Translation into English by Irini Papas

The old lady had never learned anything else in her life except to drop blessings from her lips, as if the blessings sustained her.
Her eyelash colour faded, her face was a mass of wrinkles.

“Daughter, give me the votive candle so I may light it, and may you reign like a queen one day”.

On Sundays, in the courtyard under the vine, they’d turn on the radio.

“Daughter, bring the radio, and may you pick up soil and have it turned to gold in your hands”.

Continue reading “Euphemisms of an old lady”

The Bookshop on Saint Andrew’s Street

Share

It’s no longer there…
a “We’ve Moved” sign placed up high…
some things can’t be moved immediately or afterwards
such as the pages, folded at the edges, to be read less
than to be recollected,
such as the queue in front of the cash register
such as the backbones of saints
I search for the bookshop on Saint Andrew’s Street…
terribly ill by its absence
after all, this is where the hours passed
their hours with me, and the hours search insistently
for that which can’t be moved or migrated,
which oppresses and suspends generations… Continue reading “The Bookshop on Saint Andrew’s Street”

Αμφιβολία – Doubt

Share

Αμφιβολία

ΑΜΦΙΒΟΛΙΑ

Ο νέος που πρόσμενες να `ρθει
δεν ήρθε μήτε απόψε.
Μα τί θα του `λεγες; Γιατί;
Άσε τα μάταιο να χαθή.
Το άμοιρο φύτρο κόψε.
Μη σου πλανεύει την καρδιὰ
τη χιλιοπαθημένη,
μία αναγελάστρα επιθυμιά.
Στην εαρινὴν αυτὴ βραδιὰ
μία πίκρα είνε χυμένη.
Μα δεν ακούς τη συμβουλή,
τόσο η μαγεία σε δένει.
Μήτε κι απόψε δε θα `ρθεί
κι έτσι θα γίνει πιο πολὺ
το αυριο που περιμένει.
Στα σκοτεινά του μάτια φως
η απουσία θα χύσει,
τ’ αδέξια χέρια του, με ορμὴ
συγκρατημένη, ένας κρυφὸς
καημὸς θα τα φιλήσει
και θα τα ειδώ να μου απλωθούν,
να `ναι δειλὰ στη νίκη,
γλυκὰ στην πίστη πως μπορούν,
κύμα χαδιών, να με τραβούν
στο βάθος σα χαλίκι.

Μετάφραση
Μανώλη Αλυγιζάκη

Doubt

DOUBT

The young man you expected
hasn’t come tonight.
What would you tell him? Why?
Let the futile vanish
cut the unfortunate sprout.

Don’t let the forever
cunning desire
fool your heart.
There is a hidden sadness
in this spring evening.

Yet you don’t listen to advice
the enchantment has a strong hold on you
he’ll never come tonight
and tomorrow will turn
even more painful.

Absence will shine
light into his eyes;
with reserved ardor
a secret passion
will kiss his awkward hands

and I shall see them spread
timid in victory
sweet as if they can,
caressing waves, to pull me
like a pebble into the depth

Το προσφυγόπουλο και η Μάσκα μου

Share

Το προσφυγόπουλο...

Είμαι ηθοποιός, κατά βάθος πολιτικός,
στο καμαρίνι λύνω σταυρόλεξο, ψάχνω
πράσινα άλογα, χαζεύω στην τηλεόραση.

Ένας σπουργίτης ραμφίζει το τζάμι μου
να δω τις ειδήσεις: ένα παιδάκι ξαγρυπνά
μπρος στα πτώματα των γονιών του, μετά
το ανεβάζουν σε βάρκα, προσφυγόπουλο
το βγάζει η θάλασσα στην άμμο για αιώνιο ύπνο,
στην τσεπούλα του ένα τετράδιο όπου έγραψε:
‘Θα σας καταγγείλω όλους στον Θεούλη μου…’
Continue reading “Το προσφυγόπουλο και η Μάσκα μου”

Kiki Dimoula/Κική Δημουλά

Share

ΑΠΟΛΟΓΙΣΜΟΣ

Δυο στήλες χαρακώστε
για τις ζημιές της μέρας τούτης
και τα κέρδη της.

Τα σοβαρά νοήματα
τις φωτεινές σας σκέψεις, τα διαβάσματα
τ’ από τη μια γραμμή στην άλλη
άτεγκτα περάσματα
στη στήλη των κερδών να σημειώσετε. Continue reading “Kiki Dimoula/Κική Δημουλά”

Limping Man

Share

[tabgroup]
[tab title=”English”]
Breeze laughed amid
his limping footsteps
nature’s unforgiving mistake
struggled out of the sea

eyes full of kindness
irises of a saint
a brave man’s graceful stature
in his unbalanced steps
the balance of the Universe
searched for justice
pain of the different
in vain danced
in the expression of the man
who limped out of the light waves

Continue reading “Limping Man”

Foretaste

Share

A little further from the light cast by the lamp there begins another world, an unknown world – who has ever gone there? who has every returned from there? – and then there are nights – ah! how many adventures there are dreams, so many that you life becomes insignificant (and hence dangerous) – Continue reading “Foretaste”

Final Agreement

Share

[tabgroup]

[tab title=”English”]

 Translated by Manolis Aligizakis

When rain struck the window with one of its fingers
the window opened inward. Deep inside
an unknown person, a sound – your voice?
Your voice distrusted your ear. The next day
the sun went down the fields, like a descent of farmers
with scythes and pitchforks. You too went out to the street
yelling not knowing about what you were yelling,
Continue reading “Final Agreement”

Eleni

Share

Yiannis Ritsos original
translated by Manolis Aligizakis 

[tabgroup]
[tab title=”English”]
Sometimes past midnight the rhythmic hooves of horses
are heard from down the road of a delayed carriage as if
returning
from a mourning matinee of some rundown neighborhood
theater
with its plaster fallen off the ceiling, with the peeling walls
with a huge discolored red curtain drawn
that has shrunk from so many washings and in the gap
it leaves under it
Continue reading “Eleni”

Escape

Share

[tabgroup]
[tab title=”English”]

Translation Manolis Aligizakis

   He sat on the stool by the front yard, his hands so clumsy, they had
already overtaken us “someday they will demolish the house”, he says
to me, and they’ll discover it”
and every so often at the far end of the room someone wrapped around
him a bed-sheet, it was the time he escaped, until the bed-sheet fell
empty on the floor and we had a friend forever,
in the stations, the immigrants were lined and waited hiding inside
their overcoats the voyage like a dog on its death bed
Continue reading “Escape”

The Nails

Share

Tasos Livaditis-Selected Poems
Translated by Manolis Aligizakis

[tabgroup]

[tab title=”English”]

Sometimes, that special hour, I think of narrating all the details:
how, for example, this incurable disease started on the opposite wall
or about that woman in the park, whose body was nailed on the bench,
and I say this without exaggeration, the nails protruded from her cloths
like small buttons, while her purse with her identity card floated down
the creek, that we couldn’t find out anything about her, and as I
went up to the loft they allotted to me for the night, I discovered they
had moved and only hay was left behind, because they always had
the fear of comedown, and there were moments when everyone
anticipated the inescapable and when the night fell serenely, they
quietened down, because the others weren’t going back and forth
in the hallway to look behind the door at the far end.
For this I’ve stayed on the sidelines, with the hope of rediscovering
that lost soul.

Tasos Livaditis-Selected Poems
Translated by Manolis Aligizakis

[/tab]

[tab title=”Ελληνικά”]

ΤΑ ΚΑΡΦΙΑ

Σκέφτομαι, κάποτε, σέ μιά ιδιαίτερη ώρα, νά διηγηθώ όλες τίς
λεπτομέρειες, πώς, λόγου χάρη, άρχισε αυτή η αθεράπευτη αρρώ-
στια στόν απέναντι τοίχο ή γιά εκείνη τή γυναίκα στό πάρκο, πού
ήταν ολόκληρη καρφωμένη πάνω στό παγκάκι, καί λέω καρφωμένη
χωρίς ίχνος υπερβολής, τά καρφιά εξείχαν σάν μικρά κουμπιά πάνω
απ’ τά ρούχα της, ενώ η τσάντα μέ την ταυτότητά της κυλούσε
μές στό ρυάκι, γιά νά μήν ξέρουμε τίποτα γι αυτήν, κι όπως ανέ-
βηκα στή σοφίτα πού μού `χαν παραχωρήσει γιά τή νύχτα, είδα
πώς είχαν μετακομίσει, καί δέν έμενε παρά λίγο άχυρο, επειδή
είχαν πάντα τό φόβο τού ξεπεσμού, κι ήταν στιγμές πού όλοι περί-
μεναν τό αναπόφευκτο, κι όταν νύχτωνε ήρεμα, ησύχαζαν, γιατί
εκείνοι δέν πηγαινοέρχονταν στό διάδρομο, νά δούν ακριβώς πίσω
απ’ τήν πόρτα τού βάθους.
Γι’ αυτό κι εγώ κρατιέμαι παράμερα, μέ τήν ελπίδα να ξαναβρώ
εκείνη τή χαμένη ψυχή.

Τάσος Λειβαδίτης-Εκλεγμένα Ποιήματα
Μετάφραση Μανώλη Αλυγιζάκη

[/tab]

[/tabgroup]

The Visitor’s Letter

Share

by Tasos Livaditis
translated by Manolis Aligizakis

[tabgroup]
[tab title=”English”]

Suddenly on an autumn day he left, on the table he left a letter
“don’t send me away” it read and spoke of a deep inhabitable
emotion; in the house all the lights were turned on that I wouldn’t
understand, that perhaps, he had never come, while next to the letter
he had left the mystery of his death, already covered by cobwebs,
“how you found me?” he says to me, “I never existed”, “for this”
I said and it was as if we were born and raised in a carriage that run
into the shivering roads,
yet I still couldn’t fight against this facial of the house,
its walls, ravaged, dived deeper than my blood in the darkness
of the night.

Tasos Livaditis-Selected Poems
Translated by Manolis Aligizakis

[/tab]
[tab title=”Ελληνικά”]

ΤΟ ΓΡΑΜΜΑ ΤΟΥ ΕΠΙΣΚΕΠΤΗ

Έφυγε ξαφνικά μιά μέρα τού φθινοπώρου, πάνω στό τραπέζι
είχε αφήσει ένα γράμμα, “μή μέ διώξεις” έγραφε, καί μιλούσε γιά
ένα μακρύ ακατοίκητο προαίσθημα, τά φώτα ήταν όλα αναμμένα
στό σπιτι, γιά νά μήν καταλάβω πώς, ίσως, δέν είχε έρθει ποτέ,
ενώ πλάι στό γράμμα είχε ακουμπήσει τό μυστήριο τού θανάτου
του, πού οι αράχνες τό `χαν κιόλας σκεπάσει, “πώς μέ βρήκες, μού
λέει, εγώ δέν υπήρξα”, “γι’ αυτό” τού λέω, κι ήταν σάν νά `χαμε
γεννηθεί καί μεγαλώσει σ’ ένα αμάξι, πού έτρεχε μές στό ανατρί-
χιασμα τών δρόμων,
μά ούτε καί μπορούσα νά παλέψω μ’ αυτήν τήν προσοψη, τού
σπιτιού, πού οι τοίχοι του φαγωμένοι κατέβαιναν βαθύτερα απ’ τό
αίμα μου, μές στό σκοτάδι τής νύχτας.

Τάσος Λειβαδίτης-Εκλεγμένα Ποιήματα/Tasos Livaditis-Selected Poems
Μετάφραση Μανώλη Αλυγιζάκη/Translated by Manolis Aligizakis
www.libroslibertad.ca

[/tab]

[/tabgroup]

The Third Man

Share

[tabgroup]
[tab title=”English”]

translation by Manolis Aligizakis

____Then the other one came, he carried an old ravished valise,
in which he hid all the ghosts of his life, that they never needed
chase after him,
____we were in the same stuffy room and the large animal sawn
on the carpet was already biting our knees,
____“mother”, I asked at some-time, “where can we find some water for
my horse?”, “but I don’t see any horse”, “you too, mother!”,
____a line of candles was on both sides of the hallway and at
the far end the store that sold old music instruments hanging
from the ceiling like the destitute, and in the middle the merchant,
Continue reading “The Third Man”

The Carriage

Share

[tabgroup]
[tab title=”English”]
The foreigner chatted with the woman in a low tone, of course,
the woman was dead and he stared at his destiny, that useless outline
the dead leave on the chair,
birds struck the ceiling and fell into the dirty sink where all
the stories ended, embalmed old men sat behind the window glass
the stoa was dark, the stores wet where they sold tripods for caskets
and wreaths for glory we had once dreamed off,
Continue reading “The Carriage”

The Empty Coat

Share

[tabgroup]

[tab title=”English”]

Translation by Manolis Aligizakis
of Tasos Livaditis-Selected Poems

Night fell and in the old house only the shadows remained, “aunt
Eudokia”, I said to her, “be serious, you are dead now”
but she retained the same awkward smile, like back then when she hid
something which I wasn’t allowed to know as yet
the foreigner narrated stories of signs and wonders, ancient old
murders, he also talked about a fly on the child’s glass and that he burnt
its wings “since then it stands there as if to punish me” and he pointed
far away to the road he never took
Continue reading “The Empty Coat”

Voices

Share

voices

[tabgroup]

[tab title=”English”]

Ideal and beloved voices
of the dead or those who
for us are lost like the dead.

At times they talk in our dreams;
at times our minds hear them when in thought.

Continue reading “Voices”