扬尼斯里索斯（Yannis Ritsos，1909——1990) 现代希腊诗歌的创始人之一，生于莫涅瓦西亚，早年来到雅典读书，当过文书和演员，三十年代开始作品，1934年出版第一本诗集《拖拉机》。1936年，他为萨洛尼卡烟草工人罢工写成长诗《伊皮达菲奥斯》而一举成名，深得大诗人帕拉马斯的高度评价。二战期间，他投身于抵抗运动，二战结束后，他先后两度被囚禁、著作被禁，直到七十年代初才获释，作品才得以出版。
The sky burned desolately behind the house.
Why are you crying?─he asked, buckling his belt.
The world is beautiful─she replied─
so beautiful and such a headache；and the bed
is a silent, savage beast preparing to flee.
The mountain is red. The sea is green.
The sky is yellow. The earth blue.
Between a bird and a leaf sits death.
Athens, Dhiminió, Karlóvasi
Platanákia, St. Constantine,
Words are much like stones. You can build
peaceful houses with white furniture, with white beds,
provided only that somebody is found to inhabit them or at least
to stand and look through the garden railings at the moment
when the windowpanes are in inflamed maroon, and up on the hills
the evening bells are ringing, and after a while
the slack bell rope beats on the wall by itself.
November, 1967-January, 1968
A peaceful yard, silent. The sickly trees, sad,
far away in time. The smell of mould,
the lizard, the dry well, the pulleys. There
the lame boy comes out in the evening. At the other door,
across the way, the one-handed boy stands, looking afar.
They do not greet each other. They clench their teeth. They want to forget
the killed bird they had buried together one evening when
the one still had his leg and the other hand,
and the straw chair near the rosebush
was warm with the sun, with nobody sitting there,
and everything was pointless, sad, immobile,
and therefore immoral, in a city
of long ago, naively nailed to the future.
Tall mountains, taller clouds, meeting
among trees and myths, on precipitous slopes,
there where the healthy omnipotent logos
echoed without fear of emphasis, while further down,
in the yellow clouds of blossoming crops,
in two facing rows, the statues had fallen silent,
stark naked above death, with nipples erect.
He saw the clouds from the park bench.
He tore out his coat lining,
removed his hat band,
wrapped the kidnapped infant
and pitched it in the well. Standing with his feet apart,
he pissed, smiling before you did.
I’m speaking about this smile, about night’s spectacles
about the moon’s spectacles. The infant,
no, it wasn’t kidnapped. Nor did there exist
a well or an infant. Only the clouds.
Samos, December 19, 1971
They undressed and jumped in the sea； three o’clock in the afternoon；
the cool water did not at all prevent their touching. The beach
gleamed as far as one could see,
dead, deserted, barren. The distant houses shut.
The world steamed gleaming.A horse cart
was moving out of sight at the end of the street. On the roof of the post-office
a flag hung at half mast. Who had died?
One star gleams in the twilight like a lit
you glue your eye on it – you look inside – you see everything
The world is fully illuminated behind the locked door
You need to open it
He turned the key in the door
to enter his house, to lie down.
Suddenly he remembered that he’d forgotten something.
It was late, he couldn’t go back.
So, alone in the night,
with his hand on the key,
away from the street, away from his door,
the whole man, facing his fate,
turned into marble like the statues.
Yes the statues smile indifferently.
A white horse dissected in two by the blue shadow of a cypress tree.
Someone shouted further up. (Who was it?)
I don’t know—he was shouting—I don’t know, life is powerful like a fist in the stomach.
A naked man with a golden knife between his teeth passed by.
Behind the horns of the bulls, a fire, like a rosebush, smoked.
The Third One
The three of them sat before the window looking at the sea.
One talked about the sea. The second listened. The third
neither spoke nor listened； he was deep in the sea； he floated.
Behind the window panes, his movements were slow, clear
in the thin pale blue. He was exploring a sunken ship.
He rang the dead bell for the watch； fine bubbles
rose bursting with a soft sound - suddenly,
'Did he drown?' asked one； the other said: 'He drowned.' The
looked at them helpless from the bottom of the sea, the way one
looks at drowned people.
LACK OF WILL POWER
Just as he was falling asleep, standing upright in the garden with his back against a tree,
(within himself he could already hear the distant roar of the sunlight)
at the moment he was about to touch serenity with one of his fingers,
they drenched him through and through with a long rubber hose.
He felt he should smile or become angry. But he couldn’t. He closed his eyes again.
They picked him up by his armpits and his feet. They flung him into the well.And he
heard the thump on the water below, and from above cast down a stone.
Athens, October 4, 1972
The Same Night
When he switched on the light in his room,he knew at once
This was himself,in his own space,cut off from
The infinity of the night and from its long branches.He stood
Before the mirror to confirm himself.But what about these keys
Hung from his neck on a dirty string?
THE BLACK BOAT
The old man sits on the doorsill. Evening. Alone.
He holds an apple in his hand. Others
left their lives under the auspices of stars.
What can you say to them? Night is night.
Nor do we know what is to follow. The moon
seems a little playful,
endlessly shimmering on the sea. Nevertheless,
within this radiance can be clearly seen
the black double-oared boat with its dark boatman drawing near.
Athens, May 4, 1988
Like an ant
He carries his soul
Quiz of Death
Do you want to know
When your Death will come?
When you know
of incense and rose water
that his shadow passed
in this cell again
Before the dawn
Closed shops. Flour spilt upon the pavement.
Sandbags heaped by the shelter. Hands folded,
sad, he sits behind the garden's gate.A mob
of swallows flies over, their shadows crossing
his face. He bends over and gathers flowers.
He makes a wreath. Will he put it on?
Amidst great clamor,
Fissures of silence.We clearly hear
the silent depth.Time expands.
Old men with canes cross the bridge.
Two cyclists on the hill’s horizon.
Large birds appear.
House built on the rocks
Across the sea
There I dreamed
To look through the window
The waves breaking
Dipped in ocher
On the verges of the night
I salute the loss
Of my day
I lean in my yard
I count the hours
I was staring the sun
I am sleeping
With the door open
In the sea
Even than the words of then.
To the island of eyeless poets
And I see
The ones of a tomb
Written in my mind
By the hands
Of the suicide
One daemon now
Rules over my mind
He treats me
Why doesn’t he let me
Live my horror
1938 - 1941
He was standing at the far end of the street
like a bare and dusty tree
like a tree burned by the sun
glorifying the sun that cannot be burned.
HOUR OF SONG
Beside the jug of wine
beside the baskets of fruit
we forgot to sing.
On the evening of our separation
under the approbation of the evening star
we sang by ourselves.
The sun does not consider any of your hesitations—
naked it wants you and naked it takes you,
until night comes to dress you.
After the sun, there is repentance.
After repentance, the sun again.
Athens, September, 1938
He unlocked his dark room with hesitation
to try out once more what sound his footsteps would make
on the pure-white stone pavements of day.
All were waiting for him to exit from the sun’s door.
He put on a golden denture of light
and tried to learn a few green leaves by heart
but felt his mouth looked even more empty
and so he neither spoke nor smiled.
The others kept listening to their cheers.
They never noticed that he remained silent.
Then he stooped down, picked up a stone and chased
the last faithful dog that had followed him.
Men hoisted him on their shoulders in the sun.
And thus, raised high above their heads,
no one saw him weeping.
Athens, July, 1941
Alone at night, she rose noiselessly,
fearing her own footsteps.
She descended to the cellar to check on those noises
—from rats, from a spider, from time, from her brain—
so that at last she could get some sleep.
As she descended, the wind blew out the lamp
and on both her cheeks she felt the upraised hairs of silence.
Next morning they found her in a heap under the stairs. She was smiling.
She had not confirmed anything. She had conquered.
AFTER THE FIRE
When it dawned, the silence was heavy amidst the smoking ruins.
Those who had wrestled with the fire all night
were now sleeping, weary and tranquil within their sweet submission,
others with the smile of a vague and aimless triumph.
Only he was awake. He was, in fact, avoiding sleep,
without knowing if he was the victor or the defeated,
guessing only vaguely that perhaps─perhaps
the only victory was this: his decision to learn which.
Naked─she took her red handkerchief
and covered her eyes so as not to been seen,
in case fear would force them not to look. Silent and overbearing─maybe even afraid.
Within the darkness of her bound eyes
she may have even touched or even mixed the light； then she did not wake.
Under the garden wicker chair, her shoes remained
with the bare form of her feet. On the tree branch,
her white dress streamed, unfastening all her nudity.
She had hoped for this after death. The light of the garden
fluttered─I don’t know how─like mockery, like applause.
Rigid, uncompromising throughout his entire life.
Towards the end he grew to fear this rigidity,
seeing it not as a virtue but a pose,
a punishing of others and, of course, himself.
Then he lay down in silence, slack and rigid
like a repentant line. A long coffin
lying across two common chairs
became a narrow bridge over his fears and suspicions.
Before going to bed, he placed his watch under his pillow.
Then he went to sleep. The wind outside was blowing. You
who know the wondrous succession of the slightest movements,
you will understand. A man, his watch, the wind. Nothing more.
Samos, August—September, 1958
Often hands are like faces
or like whole bodies. These hands
remain listless in the premature spring,
they sneeze, cough, complain, grow silent,
with their genitals withered in the sun.
Opposite, a woman suckles her infant.
Her hands, though motionless, are
two naked runners in a large marble arena.
Night undresses you. Her hands tremble.
All naked, your body shines in the shadows.
That wise zero that squeezed our necks
is suddenly cut in two
like a boiled egg sliced by a knife.
The woman was still lying in bed. He
took out his glass eye, set it on the table,
took one step, stopped. Do you believe me now? ─he asked her.
She picked up the glass eye, raised it to her eye and looked at him.
Weary faces, weary hands.
A weary memory. And this
vacuous silence. Evening.
The children have grown. They’ve left.
You no longer wait for an answer. And besides
you have no requests. Unjustly,
for so many years you strove to place
an approving smile
on this paper mask. Close your eyes.
Athens, January 16, 1988
In the bedroom, the woman with the black dog.
The old manservant passed by the corridor with a lantern.
Without a stir of air, the curtain moved.
We no longer waited for their return. Their clothes
hanging in the wardrobes grew old. During the night
we heard the messenger stop before the door.
He didn’t ring the doorbell. He didn’t speak. The next day
we found his gold stamped cigarette butts in the garden.
Kálamos, January 6, 1988
She opened the shutters. She hung the sheets over the sill. She saw the day.
A bird looked at her straight in the eyes. ‘I am alone,’ she whispered.
‘I am alive.’ She entered the room. The mirror too is a window.
If I jump from it I will fall in my arms.
Silent night. Silent. And you had stopped
waiting. It was almost quiet.
Then suddenly on your face the so intense
touch of him who is absent. He will come. It was then
you heard window shutters clanging by themselves.
A breeze had sprung up. And a little further down, the sea
was drowning in its own voice.
I want to show you these rose clouds in the night.
But you can't see.It's night—what can one see?
Now, I have no choice but to see with your eyes,he said,
so I'm not alone, so you're not alone.And really,
there's nothing over there where I pointed.
Only the stars crowded together in the night,tired,
like those people coming back in a truck from a picnic,
disappointed, hungry, nobody singing,
with wilted wildflowers in their sweaty palms.
But I'm going to insist on seeing and showing you，he said,
because if you too don't see, it will be as if I hadn't
I'll insist at least on not seeing with your eyes.
and maybe someday, from a different direction,we'll meet.
The meaning of simplicity
I hide myself behind simple objects so you may find me,
if you do not find me ,you will find the objects,
you will touch those objects my hand has touched
the traces of our hands will mingle.
The August moon gleams like a tin kitchen kettle
(what I am telling you becomes like that),
it lights the empty table and silence kneeling in the house
silence is always kneeling.
Every single word is an exodus
for a meeting,canceled many times,
it is a true word when it insists on the meeting.
The sea, the sun, the tree. And again:
the tree, the sun, the sea.
that in this inverted repetition
the sun is once again found in the middle
like sensual delight in the center of the body.
Athens, Dhiminió, Karlóvasi
Platanákia, St. Constantine, 1953—1964
Cut the lemon and let two drops fall into glass；
look there, the knives beside the fish on the table─
the fish are red, the knives are black.
All with a knife between their teeth or up their sleeves, thrust in their boots or their breeches.
The two women have gone crazy, they want to eat the men,
they have large black fingernails, they comb their unwashed hair
high up. High up like towers, from which the five boys
plunge down one by one. Afterward they come down the stairs,
draw water from the well, wash themselves, spread out their thighs,
thrust in pine cones, thrust in stones. And we
nod our heads with a “yes” and a “yes” ─we look down
at an ant, a locust, or on the statue of Victory─
Pine tree caterpillars saunter on her wings.
The lack of holiness─someone said─is the final, the worst kind of knowledge；
it’s exactly such knowledge that now remains to be called holy.
Athens, September 30, 1972
Everything was fine. The clouds in the sky.
The baby in the cradle. The window
in the washed water glass. The tree in the room.
The woman's apron on the chair.
The words in the poem. And only
a very shiny leaf stood out,
and the key through a feather chain.
A painter one afternoon drew a train.
The last carriage cut away from the paper
and returned to the carbarn all by itself.
Precisely in that carriage sat the artist.
Ship after ship after ship . . .
The pushcart peddler gazes down the slope,
The pine trees fling themselves into the sea.
The sea ascends the mountain
and the pushcart peddler mounts
the sun, splattered with white foam.
Poros, July, 1939
Days come, go, without effort, no surprises.
The stones soak in the light and memory.
One makes a stone a pillow.
Another puts a stone on his clothes before swimming
to keep them from being blown away by the wind. Another uses a stone as his stool
or to mark something in his field, in the cemetery, in the wall, in the woods.
Later, after sunset, when you return home,
any pebble from the beach you place on your table
is a statuette — a small Nike or Artemis’s dog,
and this one, on which a young man stood with wet feet at noon,
is a Patroklus with shady shut eyelashes.
In the Barracks
The moon entered the barracks.
She ransacked the blankets of the infantry.
She seized a naked hand.Sleep.
Someone is talking in his sleep.Someone is snoring.
A shadow gesticulates on the long wall.
The last trolley car has passed.All is quiet.
Is it possible that all these may be dead tomorrow ?
Is it possible that they may already be dead?
An infantryman wakes up.
He looks around him with glassy eyes.
A thread of blood hangs from the lips of the moon.
SUMMER IN THE CITY
In this place the light makes us despair. This pitiless month
will not allow you not to become two. You are not enough.
The monotonous clang, the street cars turning round corners,
the marble cutters hewing stones in the blazing noon.
Above the wall can be seen the same old memorial columns,
marble flowers, marble ribbons,
the bust of a banker,
the face of a child shadowed by an angel’s wing.
On these professional sculptures the Attic sun stamps its seal,
the shadows add their unbelievable extensions—
and so it was not strange at all that yesterday afternoon
as you were returning home from the office
holding a shopping net of bread and tomatoes—
it was not strange at all that yesterday as the sun was setting
in the copse you met the marble youth
strolling languidly as he smiled.
You sat on a park bench, by the pond, casting your bread to the goldfish,
and all that night, even though you had not eaten,
you were not at all hungry.
Athens, August, 1939
Flowerpots lining the whitewashed stairs.
Two large yellow gourds on the open landing.
That’s all I’m going to tell you,he said.the bicycle
resting up against the sunlit curb.Its rider
was inside eating.The steam from his bowl of wild greens
clouded over the small shaving—mirror on the wall.
The tablecloth was covered with printed roses.
The real rose was indistinguishable from the rest.
This was done on purpose by the rose.
Tr. by Martin McKinsey
They came. They were looking at the ruins, the surrounding plots of land,
they seemed to measure something with their eyes, they tasted
the air and the light on their tongues. They liked it.
Surely they wanted to take something away from us. We
buttoned up our shirts, although it was hot,
and looked at our shoes. Then one of us
pointed with his finger to something in the distance. The others turned.
As they were turned, he bent discreetly,
took a handful of soil, hid it in his pocket
and moved away indifferently. When the strangers turned about
they saw a deep hole before their feet,
they moved, they looked at their watches and they left.
In the pit: a sword, a vase, a white bone.
In the Ruins of an Ancient Temple
The museum guard was smoking in front of the sheepfold.
The sheep were grazing among the marble ruins.
Farther down the women were washing in the river.
You could hear the beat of the hammer in the blacksmith’s shop.
The shepherd whistled.The sheep ran to him as though the marble ruins were running.
The water’s thick nape shone with coolness behind the oleanders.
A woman spread her washed clothing on the shrubs and the statues——
she spread her husband’s underpants on Hera’s shoulders.
Foreign, peaceful, silent intimacy ——years on years.
Down on the shore the fishermen passed by with broadbaskets full of fish on their heads,
as though they were carrying long and narrow flashes of light:
gold, rose, and violet - the same as that procession bearing the long,
richly embroidered veil of the goddess that we cut up the other day
to arrange as curtains and table-cloths in our emptied houses.