Σάββατο, 29 Αυγούστου 2015

Γιῶργος Σεφέρης — Τελευταίος σταθμός
«Λίγες οι νύχτες με φεγγάρι που μ’ αρέσαν»

«Λίγες οι νύχτες με φεγγάρι που μ’ αρέσαν.
Τ’ αλφαβητάρι των άστρων που συλλαβίζεις
όπως το φέρνει ο κόπος της τελειωμένης μέρας 

και βγάζεις άλλα νοήματα κι άλλες ελπίδες, 
πιο καθαρά μπορείς να το διαβάσεις. 
Τώρα που κάθομαι άνεργος και λογαριάζω 
λίγα φεγγάρια απόμειναν στη μνήμη…. 
Σιωπές αγαπημένες της σελήνης…» 

Few are the moonlight nights that pleased me.
The primer of the stars that you spell out
as the effort of the ended day brings it,
and you extract other meanings and other hopes,
you can read it more clearly.
Now as I sit unoccupied and think about it
few moons have remained in memory-
islands, the color of a sorrowful Panaghia*, late in the waning light
or moonlight in towns of the north throwing together one time
in turbulent roads, rivers and people’s body parts,
heavily, a torpor.
Yet last night here, on this our last staircase
where we await the hour of our return to break
like an old debt, money which stayed for years
in the safe of a miser, and finally
the moment of payment has come, and there can be heard
coins falling on the table-
in this Tyrrhenian village, behind the sea of Salerno
behind the harbors of the return, on the edge
of an autumn storm, the moon
has surpassed the clouds, and they turned,
the houses on the other side, to enamel.
Beloved silences of the moon.


This is also a train of thought, one way

to begin to talk about things that you confess
with difficulty, at hours in which you cannot bear it, to a friend
who escaped secretly and brings
news from home and from the companions,
and you rush to open your heart
so that the foreign land doesn’t beat you to it and change him.
We come from the Arab lands, Egypt, Palestine, Syria;
The little state
of the Comagenes that went out like the small oil lamp
many times comes back to our minds,
and great civilizations that lived for thousands of years
and then were left as a shepherd’s place for beasts,
fields for sugar cane and corn.
We come from the sands of the desert from the seas of Proteus
souls shriveled from public sins,
each one with a position like the bird in his cage.
The rainy autumn in this pit
makes the wound of every one of us fester,
or that which you would otherwise call nemesis, fate
or only bad habits, guile and deceit,
or even self-interest enjoying the fruits of others’ blood.
Easily a man gets worn out in the wars-
man is soft, a sheaf of grass-
lips and fingers that long for a white breast
eyes that half-shut in the shimmer of the day
and legs that would run, even if they are so tired,
to the slightest whistle of profit.
Man is soft and thirsty as the grass,
greedy as the grass, his nerves roots that spread-
and when harvest comes
he prefers that the scythes whistle in the other field-
when harvest comes
some yell to exorcise the demonic
some get caught up in their goods, others make speeches.
But spells, goods, rhetoric,
when the living are far away, what will you do with them?
Maybe man is some other thing?
Maybe it is not he that transmits life?
Time of sowing, time of reaping.

Again the same old thing, you will tell me, friend.
But the thought of the refugee, the thought of the captive
the thought
of the man when he ends up as merchandise himself-
try to change it; you cannot.
And maybe he wanted to remain king of the cannibals
using up powers that no one can buy,
to stroll in fields of agapanthus flowers
to hear the small drums beneath the bamboo tree,
as the courtiers dance with monstrous masks.
But the place where they chop him down with an ax and burn him
like the pine, and you see him
either in the dark wagon, without water, broken windows, for nights
and nights
or on the red hot ship that will sink as the statistics are showing it,
these things took root in the mind and do not change
these planted pictures the same as those trees
which throw their branches out into the virgin forests
and these nail themselves into the soil and sprout again-
they throw out branches and sprout again stepping over
leagues and leagues-
our mind a virgin forest of murdered friends.
And if I speak to you with stories and parables
it is because you hear it more sweetly, and horror
does not converse because it is living,
because it is speechless and goes on-
it drips during the day, it drips during sleep
bitter memory pain.

To speak about heroes, speak about heroes: Mihalis
who left with open wounds from the hospital
perhaps he was talking about heroes when, that night
that he dragged his leg through the darkened city,
he howled, groping our pain- “In the dark
we go, in the dark we go forward…”
The heroes go forward in the dark.

Few are the nights with moonlight that please me.

George Seferis
Cava dei Tirreni, 5 October ῾44