Tasos Denegris, Two poems in English / Τάσος Δενέγρης, Δύο ποιήματα στα Αγγλικά


I knew that by sounds
And by sounds alone would I reach the moon
The dark side of the moon
Pale green
With the hollow bellies of the quarries
And thus as the sounds grew stronger
Women and children and warriors
Began arriving from all directions
Clutching uprooted shrubs in their left hand
And wooden lances or goldfish in their right
To hear and see the priest.

And as the sounds grew steadily more remote
Sometimes the heavy tread of the tiger
On the blackened crops
Sometimes a mathematical thought perfect
As a spider’s web
And everything frozen
Bells and icicles
Then the spirit came down
To purify the hate
And we touched the green rind of the moon

Saturday, 8 February 1964

*(Title originally in English)




The poplars present arms
As we pass by at high speed
Above the lake that became a meadow
And instead of rowboats and caiques
A chrome-plated tractor lumbers by.


Bare branch
Like the string of a violin broken In the air
And the dogmatic glory of the open sea.
Polyhedral landscape
The Aegean to the right And to the left
Mountains rising up, martial songs
In the green majority
Yellow plane trees
And chestnuts with leaves of copper

12 December 1976

*From the book “Tassos Denegris, Selected Poems”, Shoestring Press, 2000. English translation from Greek: Philip Ramp.

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