The Turn

 

Στο περιγιάλι το κρυφό                                At the hidden shore
κι άσπρο σαν περιστέρι                               white like a dove
διψάσαμε το μεσημέρι                                we got withered midday
μα το νερό γλυφό                                         but the water was saline.

Πάνω στην άμμο την ξανθή                      On the light sand
γράψαμε τ όνομα της                                 we wrote her name
ωραία που φύσηξεν ο μπάτης                   nicely the breeze blew
και σβήστηκε η γραφή                               and erased the writing.

Με τι καρδιά με τι πνοή                             With such heart with such breath
τι πόθους και τι πάθος                                such desires and such passions
πήραμε τη ζωή μας λάθος!                        we misled our life!
κι αλλάξαμε ζωή.                                         and changed our life.

(“Strophe” by G. Seferis, see https://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/4112/george-seferis-the-art-of-poetry-no-13-george-seferis)

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Our Song

 

The outlanders pursue him as if he were game.
They will kill him if he comes in force.
It is otherwise with us.

Wulf is on one island; I, on another.
That island is fast, surrounded by fens.
There are fierce men on this island.
They will kill him if he comes in force.
It is otherwise with us.

My thoughts pursued Wulf like a panting hound.
Whenever it rained and I woke disconsolate
the bold warrior came: he took me in his arms.
For me, there was pleasure, but its end was loathsome.
Wulf, O, my Wulf, my ache for you
has made me sick; your infrequent visits
have left me famished, but why should I eat?
Do you hear, Eadwacer? A she-wolf has borne
our wretched whelp to the woods.
One can easily sunder what was never one:
our song together.

Wulf and Eadwacer (Anonymous Ballad, circa 960-990 AD)
(ref:

http://www.thehypertexts.com/Best%20Love%20Poems.htm)

 

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