Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,


PANTELIS MICHANIKOS

Ode for a slain Turkish boy

Deposition (1975)

Stetson!
You who are with me in the ships at Mylae!
That corpse you planted last year in your garden,
Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?

T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land

This plain that spreads before me brightly green
adorned with the yellow of the daisy
the red of the poppy
the smile of the violet
this plain
open under the hot
bright rays of the sun 
this plain
whose tender touch
points our soul to the way of spring
 
in this plain
that exalts the Lord and the soul of man
in this plain that exalts the body
and hums the song of man
in this plain
 
lies
slain
a Turkish boy. 
 
Face contorted
cut off upon the grimace of pain,
a chiselled
underage mask
cut off in eternity to be asking
if the place was indeed too narrow
in the fanfare of spring
to be asking
if there are nations amongst the tribes of the daisy
ever to be asking
what is the nation of the green grass. 
 
The sun warms roots and soil. 
Love overflows like dew 
in the leaves and the blossoms of the soul of man
in the open sincerity of the plain
and the chiselled, fearsome mask of a child
under the voluminous sunlight
moves its lips
and speaks: “Thank you.
You brought me to this path. 
You brought me to this end. Thank you, 
kinsmen and strangers alike”.
 
My land! Rock him sweetly to sleep 
with a lullaby. For you
 
the poet’s voice
this year asks anew
the Big Oil magnates
and the colonists of cadavers,
asks Stetson:
 
“That corpse you planted last year in your garden
has it began to sprout, will it bloom this year?”

  • Ευχαριστίες στους Δέσποινα Πυρκεττή, Πηνελόπη Στράτη και Βάιο Λιαπή για τις βελτιωτικές εισηγήσεις τους.