There are certain verses

Andrea Divus

There are certain verses – sometimes poems in whole –
Whose meaning I do not know. Yet that which I do not know
Still grips me. And you have the right to ask me.
Do not ask me.
I’m telling you, I do not know.
Twin lights from the same core. The sound of water
Falling in the winter from the overflowing gutters
Or the sound of a single drop as it falls
From a rose in the watered garden
Ever so slowly on a spring eve
Like the cry of a bird. I do not know
What this sound means – although I admit hearing it.
What else I know I can explain. I do not neglect it.
But these things improve our lives. I was watching
Her knee as she slept, tugging on the corner of the bedsheets –
It was not only out of passion. This corner
Is the epitome of tenderness, and the scent of
The sheet, of white and of spring, complete
That inexplicable feeling that I tried, in utter futility, to explain to you.

            Translation from Yiannis Ritsos' Είναι Ορισμένοι Στίχοι.

Michael Howarth

Andrea Divus

Andrea is a prolific fictional translator whose name is often found quoted in 20th Century American Modernist poetry.

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