Κυριακή, 20 Ιουνίου 2010

Fog Lights [by Stamatis Polenakis]

History is a night lit by the flash of the flares…a half sunk boat on the banks of the Dneiper or the Volga…the vast frozen expanses, the deserts and the steppes…the ripe green fields of Arles and the wind swaying in the wheat…the compassionate look of a painter and the potato eaters next to a miner’s lamp…the soft waltz of that the musician Victor Ohlman thought he heard one starry summer night in 1943 in the barracks at Terazin…the forgotten bones of some Yorick and the dark ramparts of the towers…a rusty sword, a souvenir…of the battle of Borondino…it’s the single kiss I want to remember from the long duration of my whole life: the one that Marie Mathilda once gave me on my burning fevered forehead.

All these and so many more that elude me, I have no suggestions for anyone, let everyone find their own way along however they can in this fog and let this poem be read in the same way that the farewell letter in the pocket of the dead is read.

(From the poetry collection Notre Dame)

Translated by Edward Smallfield and Vassilis Manoussakis

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