Leipzig's insider blog & webzine in English

Baras poetry: Here Lito Seizani, who is originally from Greece, pays homage and opens us a window into the Greek poet's characteristic work, with her translation of one of his ship-related pieces. http://leipglo.com

Poem: Baras’s “The Sorrows of the Dockyard”

in Poetry by

Editor’s note (Ana): According to the Encyclopedia of Modern Green Literature, Alexandros Baras was a “poet and diplomat… who served in Turkey [and] came under the influence of Karyotakism in the early 1930s and the pessimistic, fantasist escapism of Ouranis. The abiding existential gesture of Karyotakis’s suicide and the departing of ocean-going vessels fascinated him. The illuminated harbor at night is a topos in his poetry, as is the distance place name, with its promise of foreign fruits and intangible oriental mystery.” Here Lito Seizani, who is originally from Greece, pays homage and opens us a window into the Greek poet’s characteristic work, with her translation of one of his ship-related pieces.


Here Lito Seizani, who is originally from Greece, pays homage and opens us a window into the Greek poet's characteristic work, with her translation of one of his ship-related pieces. http://leipglo.com
A dockyard in Lefkada, Greece. Public domain photo.

The Sorrows of the Dockyard

A poem by Alexandros Baras (1906-1990)

An old ruin of a ship
I saw her leaning on her side
Her ribs were eaten by rust
Her rudder out of the water
Bitten, broken
By an unknown sea monster

Such a poor ruin of a ship…
And yet – who would have believed it?
From her tilting funnel it seemed
Some smoke was slowly rising
A wisp, thinly dispersing
(In the bowels of the wreck there was hidden
A final spark; and possibly, possibly
She was dreaming of voyages still to come

Perhaps she was falling asleep in hope
Of escaping the evening boredom of the docks…)
I looked at her, and I thought, despite myself
Of men also battered and bruised
Whom life has imperceptibly consumed
So many parallels came into my mind…

Syntheses, Second book, 1938- Collection, Poetry 1983, Kedros Publishers

– Translated from the Greek by Lionel Scott and Lito Seizani

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*

Latest from Poetry

Go to Top