Canada

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Burden

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He put his bag on the floor
lied next to me
he raised one leg and
leaned it against the wall
as though to leave on it

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Saunter

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He sauntered by the ancient grounds
sold to yellow haired tourists

took notice of the innumerable dead
under the soil and above it

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Delphi

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Even this solemn remnant
of the ancient temple standing
like an anchorite in meditation
by the slope of the tired hill
even this they shall defile
remember this—I said

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Adagio

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Breeze came again with soft
lashes and tender unshaven
beard to caress your cheek

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Eagle

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Canada

After the all-night feast wound down
and all stomachs were satisfied

sparrows woke to claim their share
sun rose to caress its horizon

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Sparrows

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Flock of sparrows takes
charge of the plaza grounds
controlling the ebb and flow of bird

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Wounded

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Clipped wings flight hovering
in our lonely thoughts
of the postponement abyss

Yannis Ritsos Poems

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A careful hand is needed to translate the poems of Yannis Ritsos, and Manolis is the ideal poet to undertake such an enormous task. Born in Crete, Manolis’s youth was intermingled with the poetry of Ritsos. Once a young man moved by the Theodorakis version of Epitaphios, he’s now a successful poet in his own right who is still moved to tears hearing the refrains of those notes from half a century ago.