Katerina Iliopoulou

Tenaron

Here the days do not dissolve in air
They fall into the water
Forming their own layer.
A divided surface.
A hawk flies over summer’s body
Diving again and again
Feeding and getting drunk on falling.
There is nothing here
Only crazy wind and stones
And sea
A random promise
Sharpening our lust with the moon’s blade.

When I arrived for the first time, in this landscape of endings
The wind entered my mouth in such a frenzy
As if I were its only receptacle
Until all my words disappeared.

Every tree accepts the wind in a different way
Some suffer, others resist
(I recall a palm tree that gave birth to the wind
and spread it in all directions)
Others are shaking all over and changing colors.
I of course am not a tree
So I sat down and wore the wind like a coat.
I bent my head and looked at the ground.
Through its cracks, the roots of the thyme
with their hieroglyphs were struggling to enter the light.
Then the words came back.

Tenaron: The southern most tip of continental Greece. Ancient Greeks believed it to be the end of the world.

Translated by the author and Edward Smallfield.
From “The book of soil”, Melani editions, Athens 2011

 

Katerina Iliopoulou is a poet, artist and translator, living in Athens, Greece. Her poetry has been translated in many languages and has been featured in literary reviews and anthologies in Greece and abroad. She has participated in international writing and translation programs, festivals and Biennials. Her poetry books are Mister T., 2007, Asylum(2008) and The book of soil (2011). She has translated poetry of Sylvia Plath (in book form), Mina Loy, Robert Hass and Ted Hughes. She is co-editor of the bilingual site http://www.greekpoetrynow.com
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