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.

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