Poetry (III)

translated by Peter Constantine

A photograph of a fountain pen writing in cursive on paper

Poetry  is   not   solace,  it  is  not  a
song of joy and of sadness, it is not
a  haven  in  the  mouth  of  a  blind
man, it is not a  museum. Poetry is
not  an   almanac  of   meanings  on
the shelf  with the classics, nor is it
beauty  that  looms  in  a room with
mirrors     and     half-burned   logs.
Poetry     is     not  a     sea,     nor    a
shipwreck,     nor       terra      firma,
nor      a      map,   nor    a  compass.

Poetry is

Translation from the Greek

Editorial note: From Time Stitches, translated by Peter Constantine (forthcoming in July 2022 from Deep Vellum).

Eleni Kefala has published two books of poetry. She has been a finalist for the Diavazo First-Time Author Award (Greece) and winner of the State Prize for Poetry (Cyprus). She was a juror for the 2022 Neustadt Prize, and she teaches Latin American and comparative literature at the University of St Andrews in Scotland.

Peter Constantine’s recent translations include works by Augustine, Rousseau, Machiavelli, and Tolstoy; he is a Guggenheim Fellow and was awarded the PEN Translation Prize for Six Early Stories, by Thomas Mann, and the National Translation Award for The Undiscovered Chekhov. He is Professor of Translation Studies at the University of Connecticut.