To Anoint the Repast    XXVIII

We walk for thousands of years. We call the sky “sky” and the sea “sea.” Everything will change one day and we shall change along with it. But our nature will be irreparably engraved on the geometry that we disdained in Plato. And within this, when we bend over, as we sometimes bend over the waters of our island, we shall find the same brown hills, bays and capes, the same windmills and the same lonely chapels, the little houses leaning one against the other, and the vineyards sleeping like little children, the domes and the dovecotes.

I don’t mean these themselves. I mean the same natural and spontaneous movements of the soul that give birth to the material elements and set it in a certain direction, the same upheavals, the same elevations toward the deepest meaning of a humble Paradise, which is our true self, our right, our freedom, our second and real ethical sun.

Odysseus Elytis

Translated by Nick Sarris and Jeffrey Carson
Published by Johns Hopkins University Press