By Odysseus Elytis
Naked, in the month of July, high noon. In a narrow bed, between two thick drill sheets, with my cheek on my arm which I lick and taste its saltiness. I look at the whitewash opposite on the wall of my little room. A bit higher the ceiling with its beams. Lower the chest in which I have laid all my possessions: two pairs of trousers, four shirts, some underwear. Next to it, the chair with the huge straw hat. On the ground, on the black and white tiles, my two sandals. By my side I also have a book.
I was born to have just so much. Extravagant speech makes no impression on me. From the least thing you get there sooner. Only it is harder. And from the girl you love you get there too, but you have to know to touch her when nature obeys you. And from nature—but you have to know how to pull out its splinter.
From 'The Little Seafarer'
Translated by Jeffrey Carson and Nikos Sarris
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