Saturday, September 7, 2013

An Evening without an Eve: Haris Vlavianos

An Evening without an Eve
translated from Greek into English by Mina Karavanta, who is Professor of English Literature at Athens University, and Haris Vlavianos


Carefully watch
the objects around you
(flowers, books, pictures),
watch them
as they sluggishly swing
in their metaphysical innocence.

You are not certain that they exist
yet you must go on
watching them
till the end of your time.
 “It is a question of faith from now on”.

When does a familiar, rainy place,
a particular scenery,
change into a new thought?
When does an intimate sound
 (of rows cutting the river in two),
become a strange melody in our mind?

Someone turns on the light.
Someone fears the dark,
— the sigh of autumn leaves--
the mirror games of memory.

Whatever is gone
is saved in us
as that which is gone.

“The daisies you hold in your hands
are not the daisies your hands are holding.”
They are dust.
Words that try to become the meaning
of this predestined gesture.

Of  this necessary but vain gesture.


Another arrow always follows Zeno’s arrow:
that which pierces and slices it in two.

So we wither away alone in our glorious present
as the day slowly, casually progresses to its end.

You will shut your eyes
and begin to dream of your exotic refuge:

the place where a new, precious life
is treasured for you.

Can you take such a reward?
So much generosity?

Her name is still configured in the wind.

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