The song of ordinary life


by Nicos Nicolaides
Cypriot of the Diaspora
Translated by Margaret Deyes

Muse of poetry! Grant me to shape beautifully this song
about the pot in which people cook their beans over the fire
about the shallow dish of salad
made of sweet peppers mixed with whatever else
the fecundity of the orchard affords. And the season of the year…

The bowls with wooden spoons
the plate, full of ripe olives,
the wheaten bread and the bottle of wine,
all arranged in orderly fashion on the clean tablecloth.

The ‘good evening’ on the lips of the husbandman coming in
with his tools in his hand, and a watermelon under his arm…

The ‘welcome home’ from the woman of the house,
spoken softly so as not to wake the demanding infant
which has fallen asleep pressed against her breast.

Muse of poetry! Grant me to shape beautifully this song.

© Nicos Nicolaides
“Nicos Nicolaides The Cypriot”,
p. 115
Diaspora Books, London 1998

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