Dans les peoples vraiment libres,
les femmes sont libres et adores.

SAINT – JUST
T.

 

the women we love are pomegranates
they come and find us
at night
when it’s raining
with their breasts they abolish our solitude
they thrust themselves deep in our hair
and adorn it
like glittering tears
like radiant shores
like pomegranates

the women we love are swans
their gardens live only in our hearts
their wings
are wings of angels
their statues are our bodies
the beautiful rows of trees are they themselves
standing on tip-toe
they come close
and when they kiss us
on our eyes
they are swans

the women we love are lakes
our burning lips whistle in their reeds
our beautiful birds swim in their waters
and then
as they soar up—proud as they are—
they reflect them
the lakes
on their banks the poplar trees are lyres
whose music drowns all sorrows inside us
and as they overflow our being
with joy with calm
the women we love are
lakes

the women we love are banners
they wave in the winds of passion
their long hair
glitters at night
with their warm hands
they hold our lives
their soft bellies
are the arch of heaven
they are our doors
our windows
our sailing skiffs
our stars live near them always
their colors utterances of love
their lips are the sun and the moon
and their cloth is the only shroud
worthy of covering us:
the women we love are banners

the women we love are forests
each of their trees a signal of love
and if in thee forests they make us lose our way
it is exactly then
that we find ourselves
we are truly alive
and when from afar we hear storms approaching
and the wind brings us
the music and the tumult
of fairs
or the trumpets of peril
nothing—naturally—can frighten us;
surely the thick foliages will protect us
since the women we love are
forests

the women we love are like harbors
(the only aim
the only destination
of our beautiful ships)
their eyes are the breakwaters
their shoulders semaphores of joy
their thighs a line of amphoras on the warf
their feet our lighthouses of tenderness
–those who are nostalgic call her Katerina–
their waves are marvelous caresses
their Sirens do not deceive us
but—friendly–
they show us the way
into harbors: the women we love

the women we love possess a divine essence
and when we hold them tightly
in our arms
we become one with the gods
we rise up like ferocious towers
–nothing can bring us down–
and they with their white hands
cling to us
and all the peoples and nations
come to worship us
crying out our name
–immortal through the ages
because the women we love
transfer to us as well
their divine
essence

Nikos Engonopoulos, ‘Hymn to the glory of the women we love’ [Έλευσις, 1948], trans. by Thanasis Maskaleris, in Modern Greek Poetry: An Anthology, ed. by Nanos Valaoritis and Thanasis Maskaleris, 2003.

Featured Image: Painting by Nikos Engonopoulos