The Bookshop on Saint Andrew’s Street


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…
I know that the children have grown up
but I have remained the same
my smile and my crying alter no more
…out of the question that I would switch bookshops
it’s there that the floods of youth subsided
the tremors of dreams settled
there, where I had fastened hope, a cable unsheathed
from that… whatever has moved has not been lost,
time is like love, like a book, like a city
it’s like a ponieris, even if I never found out the meaning of ponieris.
And if it’s no longer there, so what!
Will that change the way I feel
about that very Cypriot
hour or aura of mine?

Translated by N.N. Trakakis.
The poem was written originally in Greek by Erma Vassiliou,
and will appear in Erma Vassiliou’s forthcoming volume “Nereids”  in 2017.

The translator would like to thank Erma
for writing such a beautiful poem and
for graciously helping with the translation.

N.Ν. Trakakis

By N.Ν. Trakakis

Nektarios Nikolaos (‘Nick’) Trakakis was born in 1972 in Melbourne from Cretan parents. He studied philosophy and theology at undergraduate level, and was awarded his PhD in philosophy from Monash University in 2005. He has taught Philosophy at Monash and Deakin Universities, and he is currently a Research Fellow in Philosophy at the Australian Catholic University. He has published two books and many journal articles on philosophical and theological themes. He has also published the following collections of poetry and prose: Tears (2005), Silent Transfigurations (2006), Via Dolorosa (2008), and Clearings (2011).


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