Letter Of Mathios Paskalis

Poem By Giorgos Seferis

The skyscrapers of New York will never know the coolness that comes down on Kifisia
but when I see the two cypress trees above your familiar church
with the paintings of the damned being tortured in fire and brimstone
then I recall the two chimneys behind the cedars I used to like so much when I was abroad.

All through March rheumatism wracked your lovely loins and in summer you went to Aidipsos.
God! what a struggle it is for life to keep going, as though it were a swollen river passing through the eye of a needle.
Heavy heat till nightfall, the stars discharging midges, I myself drinking bitter lemonades and still remaining thirsty;
Moon and movies, phantoms and the suffocating pestiferous harbour.

Verina, life has ruined us, along with the Attic skies and the intellectuals clambering up their own heads
and the landscapes reduced by drought and hunger to posing
like young men selling their souls in order to wear a monocle
like young girls — sunflowers swallowing their heads so as to become lilies.

The days go by slowly; my own days circulate among the clocks dragging the second hand in tow.
Remember how we used to twist breathless through the alleys so as not to be gutted by the headlights of cars.
The idea of the world abroad enveloped us and closed us in like a net
and we left with a sharp knife hidden within us and you said ‘Harmodios and Aristogeiton'.

Verina, lower your head so that I can see you, though even if I were to see you I'd want to look beyond.
What's a man's value? What does he want and how will he justify his existence at the Second Coming?
Ah, to find myself on a derelict ship lost in the Pacific Ocean alone with the sea and the wind
alone and without a wireless or strength to fight the elements.

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On the secret seashore
white like a pigeon
we thirsted at noon;
but the water was brackish.

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It trembled so, the wind set it sailing
it trembled so, how could it not yield to the wind
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Interval Of Joy

We were happy all that morning
Ο God how happy.
First the stones the leaves and the flowers shone
and then the sun

In The Sea Caves

In the sea caves
there's a thirst there's a love
there's an ecstasy
all hard like shells

Santorini - The Naked Child

Bend if you can to the dark sea forgetting
the flute's sound on naked feet
that trod your sleep in the other, the sunken life.