George SeferisEdmund KeeleyPhilip Sherrard


In the Goddess’s Name I Summon You...

Oil on limbs,
maybe a rancid smell
as on the chapel’ s
oil-press here,
as on the rough pores
of the unturning stone.

Oil on hair
wreathed in rope
and maybe other scents
unknown to us
poor and rich
and statuettes offering
small breasts with their fingers.

Oil in the sun
the leaves shuddered
when the stranger stopped
and the silence weighed
between the knees.
The coins fell:
‘In the goddess’ s name I summon you...’

Letter of Mathios Paskalis

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.

Spring A. D.

Again with spring
she wore light colours
and with gentle steps
again with spring
again in summer
she was smiling.

Among fresh blossoms
breast naked to the veins
beyond the dry night
beyond the white old men
debating quietly
whether it would be better
to give up the keys
or to pull the rope
and hang from the noose
to leave empty bodies
there where souls couldn’ t endure
there where the mind couldn’ t catch up
and knees buckled.

The Companions in Hades

Since we still had some hardtack
how stupid of us
to go ashore and eat
the Sun’ s slow cattle,

for each was a castle
you’ d have to battle
forty years, till you’ d become
a hero and a star!

On the earth’ s back we hungered,
but when we’ d eaten well
we fell to these lower regions
mindless and satisfied.