Featured Poem

Mikhalios


Mikhalios, they said, you’re now a soldier.
Strutting, delighted, he set out with Vasilis
and Maris but he couldn’t march, or shoulder
arms, or manage the simplest thing. ‘Master-
corporal,’ he was always murmuring, ‘Sir,
please let me go back to my village.’

A year later, in hospital, he would stare
mutely through the window at the skies,
affixing a meek and nostalgic gaze
on some point beyond the horizon,
as if to find there somebody to implore,
‘Please, Sir, just let me go home.’

But Mikhalios died a soldier still.
His pallbearers were a handful of pals –
Maris, Vasilis, a few nameless others.
Above him they shovelled in the dirt,
though one bare foot they left sticking out –
poor boy, he was always a bit tall.


» Comment on this translation 0 comment(s)

About the translation:
Poet:
KOSTAS KARYOTAKIS
Translator:
STEVEN HEIGHTON
Original language:
Greek
Issue:
2016 Number 3 - The Blue Vein

About the author

Original poet

KOSTAS KARYOTAKIS

KOSTAS KARYOTAKIS (1896–1928) is considered to be one of the most important Greek poets of the twentieth century. He published...

» Read more

Translator

STEVEN HEIGHTON

STEVEN HEIGHTON’s poetry collections include The Ecstasy of Skeptics, The Address Book, and, in 2016, The Waking Comes Late. H...

» Read more

Comment

No Comments

ADD YOUR COMMENT


Browse poems

By original language »

By issue of MPT »

Go Digital

Subscribe to the digital edition of MPT for access to all back issues and to the Exactly app.» View free trial issue

Back to top
Supported by Arts Council England

Copyright © Modern Poetry in Translation and contributors
Website design ashbydesign
Developed by Code Frontiers
Powered by Storemill