3. The Wreck "Thrush"
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I l l The wreck "Thrush" "This wood that cooled my forehead at times when the noon burned my veins will flower in other hands. Take it, I'm giving it to you; look, it's wood from a lemon-tree . . ." I heard the voice as I was gazing at the sea trying to make out a ship they'd sunk there years ago; it was called "Thrush," a small wreck; the masts, broken, swayed at odd angles deep underwater, like tentacles, or the memory of dreams, marking the hull: vague mouth of some huge dead sea-monster extinguished in the water. Calm spread all around. And in turn other voices* slowly followed; whispers thin and thirsty emerging from the other side of the sun, the dark side; one would say they longed for a drop of blood to drink;* familiar voices, but I couldn't distinguish one from the other. And then the voice of the old man reached me; I felt it quietly falling into the heart of day, as though motionless: "And if you condemn me to drink poison, I thank you. Your law will be my law; how can I go wandering from one foreign country to another, a rolling stone. 172 I prefer death. Who'll come out best only God knows." Countries of the sun and yet you can't face the sun. Countries of men and yet you can't face man. The light As the years go by the judges who condemn you grow in number; as the years go by and you converse with fewer voices, you see the sun with different eyes: you know that those who stayed behind were deceiving you the delirium of flesh, the lovely dance that ends in nakedness. It's as though, turning at night into an empty highway, you suddenly see the eyes of an animal shine, eyes already gone; so you feel your own eyes: you gaze at the sun, then you're lost in darkness. The doric chiton that swayed like the mountains when your fingers touched it is a marble figure in the light, but its head is in darkness. And those who abandoned the stadium to take up arms struck the obstinate marathon runner and he saw the track sail in blood, the world empty like the moon, 173 the gardens of victory wither: you see them in the sun, behind the sun. And the boys who dived from the bow-sprits go like spindles twisting still, naked bodies plunging into black light with a coin between the teeth, swimming still, while the sun with golden needles sews sails and wet wood and colors of the sea; still now they're going down obliquely, the white lekythoi, towards the pebbles on the sea floor. Light, angelic and black, laughter of waves on the sea's highways, tear-stained laughter, the old suppliant sees you as he moves to cross the invisible fields—* light mirrored in his blood, the blood that gave birth to Eteocles and Polynices. Day, angelic and black; the brackish taste of woman that poisons the prisoner emerges from the wave a cool branch adorned with drops. Sing little Antigone, sing, O sing . . . I'm not speaking to you about things past, I'm speaking about love; decorate your hair with the sun's thorns, dark girl; the heart of the Scorpion has set,* the tyrant in man has fled, 1 H and all the daughters of the sea, Nereids, Graeae,* hurry to the radiance of the rising goddess: whoever has never loved will love,* in the light: and you find yourself in a large house with many windows open running from room to room, not knowing from where to look out first,* because the pine-trees will vanish, and the mirrored mountains , and the chirping of birds the sea will drain dry, shattered glass, from north and south your eyes will empty of the light of day— how suddenly and all together the cicadas stop. Poros, "Galini," 31 October 1946 1 IS ...


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