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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 in front of me all 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
shows our soul the way of the 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
caught on the expression of pain,
a carved
adolescent mask
caught in eternity, ever asking
if the place was indeed too narrow
in the fanfare of spring
ever asking
if there are ethnicities amongst the people of the daisy
ever asking
what ethnicity the green grass is. 
 
The sun warms the roots and the soil. 
Love overflows like dew 
through the leaves and the blossoms of the soul of man
in the open sincerity of the plain
and a carved, fearsome mask of a child
under the voluminous sunlight
moves the lips
and speaks: “Thank you.
You brought me to this path. 
You brought me to this end. I thank you, 
my own people and foreigners alike”.
 
My land! Send him sweetly to sleep 
with a lullaby. For you
 
the poet’s voice
this year asks anew
the Big Oil magnates
and the colonizers 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.
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