Odysseus Telemachus

My Telemachus,
The Trojan war
over. Who won - I do not remember.
must be, Greeks: many dead
throw out only the Greeks can…
Still leading home
the road was too long,
like Poseidon, while we were there
wasting time, sprained space.
I do not know, where I am,
that in front of me. A dirty island,
bushes, the buildings, grunting pigs,
overgrown garden, some queen,
grass and stones… dear Telemachus,
All islands are alike,
when for so long a stranger, and brain
already strays, counting waves,
eye, clogged horizon, crying,
meat and water obscures the ear.
I do not remember, than the end of the war,
and how old are you now, I do not remember.

grow big, my Telemachus, grow.
Only the gods know, Whether we meet again.
You now no longer the baby,
before whom I have kept the bulls.
Had it not been Palamedes, we lived together.
But maybe he was right: without me
you are spared from the Oedipal passions,
and your dreams, my Telemachus, bezgreshnы.

1972

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Joseph Brodsky
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