Giorgos Seferis calls the Poetry Crisis Line

COUNSELOR: Poetry Crisis Line, what is your emergency?

CALLER: Since we still had some hardtack / how stupid of us / to go ashore and eat

COUNSELOR: Did you stop at some waterfront dive?

CALLER: the Sun’s slow cattle,

COUNSELOR: Oh. Ship’s rations can be bland, but cattle rustling?

CALLER: for each was a castle

COUNSELOR: Oh—cas-tle. I thought you said—

CALLER: you’d have to battle / forty years,

COUNSELOR: You had a hankering for siegefood?

CALLER: till you’d become / a hero

COUNSELOR: So now you are the sandwich?

CALLER: and a star!

COUNSELOR: Oh, are you in one of those places that names sandwiches after celebrities?

CALLER: On the earth’s back

COUNSELOR: How do you know which side is which?

CALLER: we hungered,

COUNSELOR: Is the food better in the front?

CALLER: but when we’d eaten well / we fell to these lower regions / mindless and satisfied.

COUNSELOR: Yeah, that sometimes happens to me when I’ve eaten too much.




Read the rest of “The Companions in Hades” by Giorgos Seferis here.