William Butler Yeats → Ουίλιαμ Μπάτλερ Γέιτς, Γουίλιαμ Μπάτλερ Γέιτς


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William Butler Yeats (13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939) was an Irish poet and playwright, and one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature. A pillar of both the Irish and British literary establishments, in his later years Yeats served as an Irish Senator for two terms. He was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival and, along with Lady Gregory, Edward Martyn, and others, founded the Abbey Theatre, where he served as its chief during its early years. In 1923 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for what the Nobel Committee described as "inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation." He was the first Irishman so honoured. Yeats is generally considered one of the few writers who completed their greatest works after being awarded the Nobel Prize; such works include The Tower (1928) and The Winding Stair and Other Poems (1929).[...]

William Butler Yeats photographed in 1911 by George Charles Beresford

Poems published in Translatum

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« Last Edit: 07 Apr, 2022, 23:17:15 by spiros »
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W.B. Yeats, A Dialogue Of Self And Soul


My Soul. I summon to the winding ancient stair;
   Set all your mind upon the steep ascent,
   Upon the broken, crumbling battlement,
   Upon the breathless starlit air,
   Upon the star that marks the hidden pole;
   Fix every wandering thought upon
   That quarter where all thought is done:
   Who can distinguish darkness from the soul?

My Self. The consecrated blade upon my knees
   Is Sato's ancient blade, still as it was,
   Still razor-keen, still like a looking-glass
   Unspotted by the centuries;
   That flowering, silken, old embroidery, torn
   From some court-lady's dress and round
   The wooden scabbard bound and wound,
   Can, tattered, still protect, faded adorn.

My Soul. Why should the imagination of a man
   Long past his prime remember things that are
   Emblematical of love and war?
   Think of ancestral night that can,
   If but imagination scorn the earth
   And intellect its wandering
   To this and that and t'other thing,
   Deliver from the crime of death and birth.

My Self. Montashigi, third of his family, fashioned it
   Five hundred years ago, about it lie
   Flowers from I know not what embroidery—
   Heart's purple—and all these I set
   For emblems of the day against the tower
   Emblematical of the night,
   And claim as by a soldier's right
   A charter to commit the crime once more.

My Soul. Such fullness in that quarter overflows
   And falls into the basin of the mind
   That man is stricken deaf and dumb and blind,
   For intellect no longer knows
   Is from the Ought, or Knower from the Known—
   That is to say, ascends to Heaven;
   Only the dead can be forgiven;
   But when I think of that my tongue's a stone.


My Self. A living man is blind and drinks his drop.
What matter if the ditches are impure?
What matter if I live it all once more?
Endure that toil of growing up;
The ignominy of boyhood; the distress
Of boyhood changing into man;
The unfinished man and his pain
Brought face to face with his own clumsiness;

The finished man among his enemies?—
How in the name of Heaven can he escape
That defiling and disfigured shape
The mirror of malicious eyes
Casts upon his eyes until at last
He thinks that shape must be his shape?
And what's the good of an escape
If honour find him in the wintry blast?

I am content to live it all again
And yet again, if it be life to pitch
Into the frog-spawn of a blind man's ditch,
A blind man battering blind men;
Or into that most fecund ditch of all,
The folly that man does
Or must suffer, if he woos
A proud woman not kindred of his soul.

I am content to follow to its source
Every event in action or in thought;
Measure the lot; forgive myself the lot!
When such as I cast out remorse
So great a sweetness flows into the breast
We must laugh and we must sing,
We are blest by everything,
Everything we look upon is blest.

Source: Poem Hunter
« Last Edit: 08 Apr, 2022, 12:56:37 by spiros »
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W. B. Yeats, Lines Written In Dejection

WHEN have I last looked on
The round green eyes and the long wavering bodies
Of the dark leopards of the moon?
All the wild witches, those most noble ladies,
For all their broom-sticks and their tears,
Their angry tears, are gone.
The holy centaurs of the hills are vanished;
I have nothing but the embittered sun;
Banished heroic mother moon and vanished,
And now that I have come to fifty years
I must endure the timid sun.

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W. B. Yeats, When You Are Old

William Butler Yeats, When You Are Old (Γουίλιαμ Μπάτλερ Γέιτς: Όταν γεράσεις, μετάφραση: Κρυσταλλία Κατσαρού)

When You Are Old
William Butler Yeats

WHEN you are old and gray and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face among a crowd of stars.

Όταν γεράσεις
Γουίλιαμ Μπάτλερ Γέιτς (μετάφραση: Κρυσταλλία Κατσαρού)

Όταν γεράσεις κι ασπρίσεις και στον ύπνο βυθιστείς
Καθισμένη δίπλα στη φωτιά, μ’ ένα βιβλίο στο χέρι
Να το διαβάζεις αργά, ν’ αφήνεσαι στων ματιών τις θύμησες
Στο βλέμμα τους, στις χαρακιές σκιές τους

Τόσοι πολλοί αγαπήσανε τις ροδαλές στιγμές σου
Την ομορφιά σου αγάπησαν στ’ αλήθεια ή σαν ψέμα
Ένας, όμως, αγάπησε τη συντροφιά ψυχή σου
Τις παλλόμενες πτυχώσεις θλίψης στην όψη τη δική σου

Κι έτσι σκυμμένη στη σιδηρά εστία την πυρωμένη
Να ψιθυρίζεις, δίχως χαρά, πώς πέταξε η Αγάπη
Και δρασκελώντας τα βουνά, ένα έγινε με δαύτα
Το πρόσωπό του κρύβοντας ανάμεσα στα άστρα

William Butler Yeats → Ουίλιαμ Μπάτλερ Γέιτς, Γουίλιαμ Μπάτλερ Γέιτς


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He wishes his Beloved were Dead

Were you but lying cold and dead,
And lights were paling out of the West,
You would come hither, and bend your head,
And I would lay my head on your breast;
And you would murmur tender words,
Forgiving me, because you were dead:
Nor would you rise and hasten away,
Though you have the will of wild birds,
But know your hair was bound and wound
About the stars and moon and sun:
O would, beloved, that you lay
Under the dock-leaves in the ground,
While lights were paling one by one.


Αν ήσουν παγωμένη και νεκρή
και χλώμιαζαν τα φώτα από τη δύση
θα ’κανες το κεφάλι σου πιο κει 
κι εγώ θα πλάγιαζα στα δυο σου στήθη·
λόγια θα μου ψιθύριζες γλυκά
συγχώρεσης έτσι νεκρή όπως θα ’σουν:
δεν θα ’βλεπες τον λόγο βιαστικά
να φύγεις, τ’ αγριοπούλι πού να πιάσουν,
μα ξέροντας στο φως των αστεριών
πως είναι τα μαλλάκια σου δεμένα,
να μείνεις καταγής, καλή μου, εγώ
θα ευχόμουν, μες στα φύλλα τα πεσμένα,
όσο τα φώτα σβήνουν ένα ένα.

Μετάφραση: Κώστας Κουτσουρέλης


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On master-work of intellect or hand,
No honour leave its mighty monument,
Has but one comfort left: all triumph would
But break upon his ghostly solitude.
But is there any comfort to be found?
Man is in love and loves what vanishes,
What more is there to say? That country round
None dared admit, if such a thought were his,
Incendiary or bigot could be found
To burn that stump on the Acropolis,
Or break in bits the famous ivories
Or traffic in the grasshoppers or bees.

Μα υπάρχει πουθενά παρηγοριά να βρεις;
Ερωτευόμαστε εκείνο που πεθαίνει,
τι άλλο να ειπωθεί; Σ’ αυτόν τον τόπο θά ’ρθουν,
το σκέφτεσαι κι ας μην τ’ ομολογείς,
χέρια θρησκόληπτα και χέρια εμπρηστικά
στη ρημαγμένη Ακρόπολη φωτιά ν’ ανάψουν,
τα ξακουστά τ' αγάλματα να κομματιάσουν
και να πουλήσουν τα τζιτζίκια τα χρυσά.

W. B. YEATS (1919)
Μετάφραση: Κώστας Κουτσουρέλης

Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen
« Last Edit: 12 Jan, 2024, 17:55:19 by spiros »


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The Second Coming

Turning and turning in the widening gyre   
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere   
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst   
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.   
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out   
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert   
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,   
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,   
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it   
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.   
The darkness drops again; but now I know   
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,   
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,   
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Δευτέρα Παρουσία
Ουίλιαμ Μπάτλερ Γέιτς

Γυρίζοντας ολοένα σε κύκλους που πλαταίνουν
Το γεράκι δεν μπορεί ν’ ακούσει πια το γερακάρη,
Τα πάντα γίνονται κομμάτια, το κέντρο δεν αντέχει
Ωμή αναρχία λύθηκε στην οικουμένη,
Απ’ το αίμα βουρκωμένος λύθηκε ο ποταμός, και παντού
Η τελετή της αθωότητας πνίγεται.
Οι καλύτεροι χωρίς πεποίθηση, ενώ οι χειρότεροι
Είναι γεμάτοι απ’ την ένταση του πάθους.

Σίγουρα κάποια αποκάλυψη θα είναι κοντά
Σίγουρα η Δευτέρα Παρουσία θα είναι κοντά
Η Δευτέρα Παρουσία ! Δεν  πρόφταξα να σώσω αυτό το λόγο
Και μια μεγάλη εικόνα γέννημα του Spiritus Mondi
Θολώνει τη ματιά μου: κάπου στην άμμο της ερήμου
Μορφή με σώμα λιονταριού και κεφάλι ανθρώπου,
Ένα άδειο βλέμμα κι αλύπητο σαν ήλιος
Κινείται με μηρούς αργούς, ενώ τριγύρω
Στροβιλίζονται ίσκιοι αγαναχτισμένων πουλιών
Το σκοτάδι ξαναπέφτει, τώρα όμως ξέρω
Πως είκοσι βασανισμένοι αιώνες πετρωμένου ύπνου
Κεντρίστηκαν από ένα λίκνο λικνισμένο κατά το βραχνά,
Και ποιο ανήμερο θεριό, μια που ήρθε τέλος η ώρα του,
Μουντά βαδίζει για να γεννηθεί κατά τη Βηθλεέμ.

Μετάφραση: Γιώργος Σεφέρης


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