The Afternoon Sun The Canon
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This room, how well I know it. Now
they’re renting it, it and the one next door,
as offices. The whole house has been taken
over by agents, businessmen, concerns.
 
Ah but this one room, how familiar.
 
Here by the door was the couch. In front of that,
a Turkish carpet on the floor.
The shelf then, with two yellow vases. On the right―
no, opposite―a wardrobe with a mirror.
At the center the table where he wrote,
and the three big wicker chairs.
There by the window stood the bed
where we made love so many times.
 
Poor things, they must be somewhere to this day.
 
There by the window stood the bed: across it
the afternoon sun used to reach halfway.
 
...We’d said goodbye one afternoon at four,
for a week only. But alas,
that week was to go on forevermore.

Translated by James Merrill

(James Merrill, Collected Poems, Alfred A. Knopf, 2002)

- Original Greek Poem

- Translation by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard