THE MAD POMEGRANATE TREE

(by Odysseas Elytis)
Inside these all-white backyards swept by southerly winds

whistling through vaulted rooms, tell me, is it the mad pomegranate tree

that quivers in the sunlight scattering her fruit-bearing laughter along

wind-like whisperings and denials, tell me, is it the mad pomegranate tree

of throbbing foliage born right with the dawn's bells

that opens up all her colors at the top shivering triumphantly?
As stark naked girls rise trough the meadows

to harvest the clover with their blond hands,

touring their sleep's frontiers, tell me, is it the mad pomegranate tree

that puts the lights inside their fresh baskets without knowing,

that makes their names flow over with bird songs, tell me,

is it the mad pomegranate tree that challenges an overcast world?
In front of a zealous day that adorns herself with feathers of seven kinds,

binding the eternal sun with thousands of dazzling prisms,

tell me, is it the mad pomegranate tree

that picks up a mane of one hundred whippings as she races,

not once gloomy, not once grumbling, tell me, is it the mad pomegranate tree

that hollers the novel hope at its dawn?
Tell me, is it the mad pomegranate tree that greets in the distance,

waving a handkerchief of refreshing fire's leaves,

an ocean about to give birth to countless ships,

made of waves that again and again depart and go

to seashores never smelled of, tell me, is it the mad pomegranate tree

that makes the riggings squeak high up through the transparent air?
With a gleaming bunch of fruit that celebrates in fire so high,

haughty, full of peril, tell me, is it the mad pomegranate tree

that right in the open demolishes the demon's storms with sunlight,

that stretches out from end to end the day's crocus collar,

many-a-times embroidered with sown songs, tell me,

is it the mad pomegranate tree that hastily unravels the day's silks?
Amidst underskirts of early April and cicadas of mid August,

tell me, she who plays, she who rages, she who seduces,

shaking all evil darkness off the terrible threat,

releasing intoxicating birds into the sun's bosom,

tell me, she who spreads the wings against the chest of all things,

against the chest of our deep dreams, is she the mad pomegranate tree?

(my translation)

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