Speech by Yannis Ritsos

This is another Yannis Ritsos poem from his book Muted Poems. Translated with the help of an aunt who reads Greek.


No excuses, he said, no regrets, next to the washroom
you hear her washing herself, the thin old woman.
She placed her three rings on the still damp glass shelf
and her false teeth on the washbowl lid. Outside the sun
is humming between the trees and above three birds are shouting,
they can’t see the three drowned in the well below
– the same three whose swollen stomachs our two fingers touched.