The sorrows of the dockyard

 
THE SORROWS OF THE DOCKYARD
A poem by Alexandros Baras (1906-1990)
*
An old ruin of a ship
I saw her leaning on her side
Her ribs were eaten by rust
Her rudder out of the water
Bitten, broken
By an unknown sea monster
*
Such a poor ruin of a ship…
And yet – who would have believed it?
From her tilting funnel it seemed
Some smoke was slowly rising
A wisp, thinly dispersing
(In the bowels of the wreck there was hidden
A final spark; and possibly, possibly
She was dreaming of voyages still to come
Perhaps she was falling asleep in hope
Of escaping the evening boredom of the docks…)
I looked at her, and I thought, despite myself
Of men also battered and bruised
Whom life has imperceptibly consumed
So many parallels came into my mind ...
*
Syntheses, Second book, 1938- Collection, 1933, Poetry 1983, Kedros Publishers
Translated from the Greek by Lionel Scott and Lito Seizani