Seconds <i>(Translated from the Greek by Antigone Kefala)</i>
The poems were written in the last few years of Ritsos’ life. They describe every day expe -
riences in an immediate, seemingly simple language, but they are essen tially a medi tation on
death. Their tone lacks heroics, and returns again and again to the things of life – the sun,
birds, flowers, memories. I hope I have managed to con vey in English the tone and imme -
diacy of the language, as well as the medi tation at the core of the poems. I should like to thank
Dennis Dinopoulos, Yota Krili and Helen Nickas for reading the translations and for their sugges tions.