The Companions in Hades

fools, who ate the cattle of Helios Hyperion;
but he deprived them of the day of their return.
— Odyssey

Since we still had some hardtack
how stupid of us
to go ashore and eat
the Sun’s slow cattle,

for each was a castle
you’d have to battle
forty years, till you’d become
a hero and a star!

On the earth’s back we hungered,
but when we’d eaten well
we fell to these lower regions
mindless and satisfied.

–trans Keeley and Sherrard

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One Response to “The Companions in Hades”

  1. Dylan Thomas Hayden Says:

    I have posted this great poem of Seferis once before. Reading this morning about the world’s largest indoor ski slope currently being built in Dubai, in the middle of a desert, this warning against hubris seems more potent and poignant than ever.

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