I Am the Twentieth Century


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I can’t see this green line.
Textures are more useful,
like the crevice this finger traces around your masks
and the damp breath of those still alive
and the theatre of sighs,
as we post our condemnation to various presidents,
the acrid envelope’s lip

and sometimes our little towns are quiet
and only flags flutter as tributes to the silence,

and I poke my tongue
into the hole of my history
and wriggle my toes in the damp sand, beyond the cafeteria,
and observe that I can’t see this green line, I just can’t see it.

I can only see gold,
and the eyes of my people blacker than embers,
and the strong smell of their lovemaking,
and secrets which they say nestle in their breasts,
standing like monoliths looking toward the sea,
saying nothing
as if they are chanting.

Lysandros Pitharas was born in the U. K. of Cypriot parents. English became his native language and he wrote in order to express the awkward feeling of being a citizen of the twentieth century but having ancient origins, of being a Cypriot Londoner who finds it hard to understand the “green line”, of being a young man facing death. A gifted musician, a man of many talents and with a great sense of curiosity, he died at the age of 32. This posthumous collection of some of his poems is a tribute to the passion for life he represented.

Additional information

Weight 0.200 kg
Dimensions 13 × 21 cm




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