A Life

( - )

All his life, rigid and uncompromising.
Towards the end he feared that rigidity,
that it might not have been a virtue but simply a mannerism,
a punishing of others and, of course, himself.

Then he lay down in silence, slack and rigid,
like a remorseful line. A long coffin
resting upon two common chairs
became a narrow bridge over his fear and suspicions.


Γιάννης Ρίτσος, «Μια ζωή», από τις Ασκήσεις
From Exercises, 1950-1964

John Stathatos (translator)
Original Author 
Yannis Ritsos