* who we are & Yannis Ritsos

Protection – Yannis Ritsos

The sky bends over us, responsible,
as our poem bends over the sadness of mankind,
as the sensitive, initiated eyelid bends over the eye,
protecting the pupil of the eye from the dust,
the improvised light, the hardly perceptible insects,
so that the eyes may open again forewarned and free,
each time the chance comes to view the miracle of germination
and to herald their smile to another.

* eye see what you mean *
* eye see what you mean *

Something about Yannis Ritsos I keep coming back to.  Perhaps it is the earthiness of what he writes about.  Above, you have a meditation on eyelids as I have never read before.   The tender eyelid as protective.  I mean, that is what it does, some part of me knew this – but this gives it back to me.


Here’s another short dose of who we are.  The lyric below takes me to somewhere lonely through an indirect path – through an impossible image I am given very possible feelings.


Recollection – Yannis Ritsos

A warm aroma had remained on the armpits of her coat.
Her coat on the hanger in the hallway like a drawn curtain.
What was happening now was of another time.  The light altered faces,
all unfamiliar.  And if someone was about to enter the house,
that empty coat would lift its arms slowly, bitterly,
and silently shut the doors once more.


Happy shutting!


One response to “* who we are & Yannis Ritsos”

  1. […] In my recent interview as part of my Distinguished Poet feature for The Inflectionist Review, I spend some time talking about the poet Yannis Ritsos and his poem “Protection” which I wrote about two years ago here. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: