Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine behind a heavy velvet screen

This is a good day to catch up with time, with words that vanish in postponement; I see them melting in the salty lake of silence, among automatic motions of my head nodding, in retreat and weakness. Eid al 7ob: a generous day for the florists and the various vendors of kitsch red gifts. And since the age of 17 I have been watching it being so, cheap and tasteless. The red synthetic silk boxers with hearts, the shortlived roses, the strawberry cakes with layers of artificial jelly, the dictatorship of anniversaries.
Oh Aphrodite, oh Hermes, oh Adonis, do not teach them anything, your ribbons are worn out, all in golden and purple threads eaten by the moth of numerous departures. Your nudity is fragile, and these are iron-nailed flocks.

"Immortal Aphrodite, daughter of Zeus,
you always set traps of love.
Devine Matron, I beg you
not to add any further burden of sorrow and bitterness on my soul.
Devine Matron, I beg you

What might be, once again, this thing
that my heart yearns for?
Who may be, once again, the one
for whom I ask Persuation to bring her back?
Who is the one that made you suffer, oh Sappho?
Who may be, once again, the one
for whom you ask Persuasion to bring her back to you?

Come then, once again,
to save me from my sufferings."

Αθάνατη Αφροδίτη του Διός κόρη
όλο παγίδες στήνεις της αγάπης
Δέσποινα παρακαλώ
μη να χαρείς μη ρίχνεις άλλο βάρος
από καημούς και πίκρες στην ψυχή μου
Δέσποινα παρακαλώ
μη να χαρείς

Τι νά΄ναι πάλι τι
εκείνο που ποθεί η τρελή καρδιά μου
ποια νά΄ναι πάλι αυτή
που την Πειθώ ικετεύεις να σου φέρει πίσω
ποια να πονέσεις σ'εκανε Σαπφώ
ποια νά΄ναι πάλι αυτή
που την Πειθώ ικετεύεις να σου φέρει πίσω

Έλα λοιπόν ακόμα μια φορά
να με λυτρώσεις απ'τα βάσανά μου.

(Σαπφώ στην απόδοση του Οδυσσέα Ελύτη)

After a long while I went again to the favorite simple coffee shop on Mecca Street. I was expecting to see their special edition donuts, the icing sugar, the red jam. Not to eat them, no... Just to feel vaguely connected to them and their symbolism through the smoke of my cigarette. No... This year they were sold out. Or they did not make any. I felt shy to ask the polite youngman behind the counter, who prepares my cup with the accurate fingers of habit. In Jordan Times a psychoanalyst explains why we find it easier to confess our love in a foreign language. Oh this must be the reason for all these language learners. I should go a bit further in languages: to learn by heart the dictionary of corals and dolphins.


Blogger Moey said...

you know what makes me wonder.. is that valentine is all commercial, it's about business not real love!

11:52 PM  
Blogger Vas said...

ah, here we go... Real Love: this is a heavy trade. May we all profiteer out of it and may we all end up penniless.

7:42 AM  

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