THE MONOGRAM (1971) Odysseas Elytis
I’ll mourn forever -do you hear me?- for you, alone, in Paradise
I
Like a keymaster, Fate will twist The wrinkles in the palm Time will concede for a moment How else, if people love each other Will the heavens present our guts And will innocence strike the world With the scythe of the black death.
II
I mourn the sun and I mourn the years coming Without us and I sing the others gone by If it’s true Knowing bodies and boats that sweetly glided The guitars that flickered in the rain The “believe me”s and the “don’t”s Once in the air, once to the music The two small animals, our hands That tried secretly to climb one another The cool pot through garden gates ajar And the pieces of the seas coming together Beyond the stone walls, behind the fences The anemone sitting on your hand And shuddered three times as purple three days above the waterfalls If this song is true The wooden beam and the square tapestry On the wall, the Mermaid with the undone hair The cat looking at us in the darkness Child with incense and a red cross During twilight at the unapproachable rocks I mourn the clothes I touched and the world came to me.
III
So I speak of you and me Because I love you and in love i know How to head in like a Full Moon From all directions, for your little foot in the vast sheets Plucking jasmine – and I have the strength Dozed off, to blow and take you Through moonlit passages and secret sea caves Hypnotized trees with silvery spiders The waves have heard of you How you carress, how you kiss How you whisper the “what” and the “eh” Around your neck, at the bay We are always the light and the shade You’re always the little star and I’m always the dark vessel You’re always the port and I’m the light on the right The wet jetty and the glitter on the oars High on the vine-laden house The bound roses, the cooling water You’re always the stone satatue and I’m always the growing shadow You the hanging shutter, I the wind that opens it Because I love you and I love you You’re always the coing and I’m the worship that gives it value: As the night, as the roar in the wind As the drop in the air, as the stillness As the magestic sea Star-filled chamber of the sky So your faintest breath That I no longer have anything else In the four walls, the ceiling, the floor To shout for you and my own echo hitting me To smell of your scent and people to get angry Because the untested and foreign People can’t stand and it’s early, do you hear me It’s still early in this world my love To speak of you and me.