Haris Psarras: Circe’s Hall

Haris Psarras

Circe’s Ηall

T’S BEEN years since I last dreamt of Circe’s palace. I came to live in a concrete city.      I made my home in a place of humid nights where dreams dry out. No more unwelcome midnight hauntings. I was lucky to escape her spell, fleeing the island and regaining control. That’s what I tell myself when I grieve for the loss of those dreams.

        One day though, my landlady asked if I knew Circe. A strange question. She asked at breakfast, with her back to me, sitting as usual at her loom. “Of course I know her,” I replied, “she’s a figment of my ancestors’ imagination.” She turned towards me and said: “I’m not talking about Homer’s world. I mean our Circe, our world.” She then changed the subject to current affairs, what she had read in the papers, to fashion and the arts.

        After we talked for a while, she reminded me that I should hurry to work, to my duty. And she was right. I got up, and with a heavy heart left the house. I crossed the woods, passing lions and wolves, and arrived at the pigsty. That’s where I work every day. I feed the pigs and cry, recognising in their eyes my downtrodden companions.

Source: First published in Greek in Planodion-Bonsai Stories (2011).

Haris Psarras was born in Athens in 1982. He studied law in Athens and Oxford. He holds a PhD from the University of Edinburgh. He has held posts at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge and Southampton Law School. His most recent book of poetry, Gloria in Excelsis, was published in 2017. His poetry and flash fiction have been translated into English, French, German, Italian, Romanian, Slovenian and Spanish.

Translated by

Chris H. Sakellaridis is a poet and teacher who was born in London in 1983 and grew up in Crete. He studied English at Queen Mary University, Social Anthropology at UCL and completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Education at Bath Spa. Poems and translations of his have been published in magazines and anthologies in the UK, Ireland, Spain, Italy and Greece. He has also been involved in radio production, animation and sound art.