The Return of the Exile
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THE RETURN OF THE EXILE "My old friend, what are you looking for? After years abroad you've come back with images nourished under foreign skies far from your own country." "Fm looking for my old garden; the trees come to my waist and the hills resemble terraces yet as a child I used to play on the grass under great shadows and I would run for hours breathless over the slopes." "My old friend, rest, you'll get used to it little by little; together we will climb the paths you once knew we will sit together under the plane-trees' dome. They'll come back to you little by little, your garden and your slopes." 113 "I'm looking for my old house, the tall windows darkened by ivy; I'm looking for the ancient column known to sailors. How can I get into this coop? The roof comes to my shoulders and however far I look I see men on their knees as though saying their prayers." "My old friend, don't you hear me? You'll get used to it little by little. Your house is the one you see and soon friends and relatives will come knocking at the door to welcome you back tenderly." "Why is your voice so distant? Raise your head a little so that I understand you. As you speak you grow gradually smaller as though you're sinking into the ground.' "My old friend, stop a moment and think: you'll get used to it little by little. 114 Your nostalgia has created a non-existent country, with laws alien to earth and man." "Now I can't hear a sound. My last friend has sunk. Strange how from time to time they level everything down. Here a thousand scythe-bearing chariots go past and mow everything down." Athens, spring '38 11 S ...



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