Boukalas writes again

Mt. Othris from Kamena Vourlis (near Agios Konstantinos)

Mt. Othris from Kamena Vourla (near Agios Konstantinos)

The poet Pantelis Boukalas writes regularly, every few days, in the Greek edition of Kathimerini. His columns are translated into English only occasionally and published on the newspaper’s English edition website. I’ve mentioned his columns several times before here, and since I’m still away from Greece and feeling exiled at least for the next few days, I’ll point readers again to Boukalas’s thoughtful writing.

Click here to read the column

The column linked to above uses part 4 (Δ) of the poem “Summer Solstice” by Nobel Laureate (1963) Giorgos Seferis as a starting point.

“As scraps of paper are gathered in the gust
and sent reeling, in the right-left up-down
insanity of the surge, the wind
carries the remains of human limbs
and disperses them in deadly fumes
sinuous as the day is long.
And our souls, once they desire
to part ways with the body, develop
a deeper thirst, in a place that’s dry as a bone,
where they drift until they stick somewhere,
as fate would have them: snared
like birds attracted to outstretched twigs
smeared with lime. Which means their wings,
once they alight, will keep on flapping away–
until they grow too heavy to lift.

Then day after day this landscape that was dry
to begin with begins to evaporate inside,
like a clay jug left out in the sun.”

Στο τρελό ανεμοσκόρπισμα
δεξιά ζερβά πάνω και κάτω
στροβιλίζονται σαρίδια.
Φτενοί θανατεροί καπνοί
λύνουν τα μέλη των ανθρώπων.
Οι ψυχές
βιάζουνται ν’ αποχωριστούν το σώμα
διψούν και δε βρίσκουν νερό πουθενά∙
κολνούν εδώ κολνούν εκεί στην τύχη
πουλιά στις ξόβεργες∙
σπαράζουν ανωφέλευτα
όσο που δε σηκώνουν άλλο τα φτερά τους.

Φυραίνει ο τόπος ολοένα
χωματένιο σταμνί.


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