All the words

By elena, November 24, 2015

A creative translation of one of Andreas Embirikos’ poems.

All the words

“I’ll be back soon”. That’s what you told me when you left, all in a hurry, for a country far away from home, from us. Now all your letters consist of your permanent wish to come back, to breathe the breeze of the Aegean, to feel the cordial light of our hometown, to smell the scent of the pine in our backyard. In between the austerity of our present and past fairytales, shiny fountains rise like a fanfare of wind instruments and interrupt the silence amongst us with a pulsating sound, a percussive sound, a sound of drums, all for your arrival. All the words I have already said to you stand before us like oracles, foreseeing our unsurpassed union. You cannot imagine the immeasurable meaning of these words for our present and our future. I shout, “Hurrah”, come back to me, “I love you”, I’ve always have, “Glory to God in the highest”, I miss your divine existence. Waiting for you has sharpened my heart just like crossed swords sharpen when joined. All of a sudden, I find myself in the underground tunnels of Paris. I hear the clang of the arrival of the overhasty subway, and I count silently the stations: “Chardon – Lagache”, “Denfert – Rochereau”, “Danton”, “Odeon”, “Vauban”. Stations are also words, and I can’t stand any other words, because I have already told you all the words of the world, except one. Around the corner, a violinist plays “Gloria, gloria in excelsis” – Vivaldi’s melody saves me from the blindness of nostalgia and I see your familiar face in the crowd. As you walk towards me, all the haze in my mind disappears: you were always my missing word.


Αι λέξεις

Όταν καμιά φορά επιστρέφομεν από τους Παρισίους και αναπνέομεν την αύραν του Σαρωνικού, υπό το φίλιον φως και μέσα στα αρώματα της πεύκης, εν τη λιτότητι των μύθων – των σημερινών και των προκατακλυσμιαίων – ως σάλπισμα πνευστών, ή ως ήχος παλμικός, κρουστός, τυμπάνων, υψώνονται πίδακες στιλπνοί, ωρισμέναι λέξεις, λέξεις-χρησμοί, λέξεις ενώσεως αψιδωτής και κορυφαίας, λέξεις με σημασίαν απροσμέτρητον δια το παρόν και δια το μέλλον, αι λέξεις “Eλελεύ”, “Σε αγαπώ”, και “Δόξα εν υψίστοις”, και, αιφνιδίως, ως ξίφη που διασταυρούμενα ενούνται, ή ως κλαγγή αφίξεως ορμητικού μετρό εις υπογείους σήραγγας των Παρισίων, και αι λέξεις: “Chardon-Lagache”, “Denfert-Rochereau”, “Danton”, “Odeon”, “Vauban”, και “Gloria, gloria in excelsis”.

Ανδρέας Εμπειρίκος, από τη συλλογή «Oκτάνα», Άγρα, 1980


*Φωτό : Παρίσι, Απρίλιος 2009

** Je souris désormais aux ciels gris de Septembre, et flotte dans l’infini d’une matinée d’hiver.

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