MOONLIGHT SONATA (excerpt)

MOONLIGHT SONATA (excerpt)

A spring evening. A large room in an old house. A woman of a certain age, dressed in
black, is speaking to a young man. They have not turned on the lights. Through both
windows the moonlight shines relentlessly. I forgot to mention that the Woman in
Black has published two or three interesting volume of poetry with a religious flavor.
So, the Woman in Black is speaking to the Young Man:
Let me come with you. What a moon there is tonight!
The moon is kind – it won’t show
that my hair turned white. The moon
will turn my hair to gold again. You wouldn’t understand.
Let me come with you.

When there’s a moon the shadows in the house grow larger,
invisible hands draw the curtains,
a ghostly finger writes forgotten words in the dust
on the piano – I don’t want to hear them. Hush.

Let me come with you
a little farther down, as far as the brickyard wall,
to the point where the road turns and the city appears
concrete and airy, whitewashed with moonlight,
so indifferent and insubstantial
so positive, like metaphysics,
that finally you can believe you exist and do not exist,
that you never existed, that time with its destruction never existed.
Let me come with you.

We’ll sit for a little on the low wall, up on the hill,
and as the spring breeze blows around us
perhaps we’ll even imagine that we are flying,
because, often, and now especially, I hear the sound of my own dress
like the sound of two powerful wings opening and closing,
you feel the tight mesh of your throat, your ribs, your flesh,
and when you enclose yourself within the sound of that flight
you feel the tight mesh of your throat, your birds, your flesh,
and thus constricted amid the muscles of the azure air,
amid the strong nerves of the heavens,
it makes no difference whether you go or return
it makes no difference whether you go or return
and it makes no difference that my hair has turned white
(that is not my sorrow – my sorrow is
that my heart too does not turn white).
Let me come with you.

I know that each one of us travels to love alone,
alone to faith and to death.
I know it. I’ve tried it. It doesn’t help.
Let me come with you.

 

 
Giannis Ritsos
Translated by Peter Green and Beverly Bardsley
Source: http://www.poetryinternationalweb.net/pi/site/poem/item/2678/auto/MOONLIGHT-SONATA



Facebook

Instagram

Follow Me on Instagram
  • All my life I've looked at words as though I were seeing them for the first time .

    lecturesbureau: "All my life I've looked at words
as though I were seeing them for the first time ."
    57
    0
  • Medicine heals deseases of the body wisdom frees the soul from passions .

    lecturesbureau: "Medicine heals deseases of the body
wisdom frees the soul from passions ."
    473
    1
  • It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop .

    lecturesbureau: "It does not matter how slowly you go 
so long as you do not stop ."
    342
    2
  • A book read by a thousand different people is a thousand different books .

    lecturesbureau: "A book read by a thousand different people
is a thousand different books ."
    558
    0
  • Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be WHAT WE KNOW WE COULD BE .

    lecturesbureau: "Our chief want is someone who will inspire us
to be WHAT WE KNOW WE COULD BE ."
    259
    2
  • The bee discovers amid the most pungent flowers and the roughest thorns the smoothest and most palatable honey .

    lecturesbureau: "The bee discovers amid the most pungent flowers
and the roughest thorns
the smoothest and most palatable honey ."
    102
    0
  • Without joy in our heart , our progress in life is slow and uninteresting .

    lecturesbureau: "Without joy in our heart ,
our progress in life 
is slow and uninteresting ."
    214
    0
  • The beauty doesn't make happy the owner , but the one who can love and admire her .

    lecturesbureau: "The beauty doesn't make happy the owner ,
but the one who can love and admire her ."
    908
    1
  • Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself .

    lecturesbureau: "Man is nothing else
but what he makes of himself ."
    406
    1
  • An honest man is always a child !

    lecturesbureau: "An honest man is always a child !"
    411
    2