Every single word is an exodus for a meeting

The incredible Greek poet Yannis Ritsos (1909-1990) wrote such a wide range of poetry¬†that it’s difficult to select just one, but for now I am settling on this poem that has been confusing and delighting me since I first read it a few days ago…

“The Meaning of Simplicity”

I hide myself behind simple objects so you may find me,
if you do not find me, you will find the objects,
you will touch those objects my hand has touched
the traces of our hands will mingle.

The August moon gleams like a tin kitchen kettle
(what I am telling you becomes like that),
it lights the empty table and silence kneeling in the house
silence is always kneeling.

Every single word is an exodus
for a meeting, cancelled many times,
it is a true word when it insists on the meeting.

translated by Rae Dalven