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Modern Greek poetry

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Antioxos View Drop Down
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  Quote Antioxos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Modern Greek poetry
    Posted: 08-Oct-2006 at 15:19

Constantine P. Cavafy,  (Greek Κωνσταντίνος Π. Καβάφης)  was ONE of the most distinguished Greek  poets who worked as a journalist  and civil servant(29 April 1863- 29 April 1933).  He published 154 poems; dozens more remained incomplete or in sketch form.

One of the most known poets is Ithaka.
 
As you set out for Ithaka
hope your road is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
angry Poseidon - don't be afraid of them:
you'll never find things like that one on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
wild Poseidon - you won't encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

Hope your road is a long one.
May there be many summer mornings when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you enter harbours you're seeing for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfumes of every kind -
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to learn and go on learning from their scholars.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you're destined for.
But don't hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you're old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you've gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

Ithaka gave you the marvellous journey.
Without her you wouldn't have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.
And if you find her poor, Ithaka won't have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you'll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.
 
In Greek
 
Σα βγεις στον πηγαιμό για την Ιθάκη,
να εύχεσαι νάναι μακρύς ο δρόμος,
γεμάτος περιπέτειες, γεμάτος γνώσεις.
Τους Λαιστρυγόνας και τους Κύκλωπας,
τον θυμωμένο Ποσειδώνα μη φοβάσαι,
τέτοια στον δρόμο σου ποτέ σου δεν θα βρείς,
αν μέν' η σκέψις σου υψηλή, αν εκλεκτή
συγκίνησις το πνεύμα και το σώμα σου αγγίζει.
Τους Λαιστρυγόνας και τους Κύκλωπας,
τον άγριο Ποσειδώνα δεν θα συναντήσεις,
αν δεν τους κουβανείς μες στην ψυχή σου,
αν η ψυχή σου δεν τους στήνει εμπρός σου.

Να εύχεσαι νάναι μακρύς ο δρόμος.
Πολλά τα καλοκαιρινά πρωϊά να είναι
που με τι ευχαρίστησι, με τι χαρά
θα μπαίνεις σε λιμένας πρωτοειδωμένους
να σταματήσεις σ' εμπορεία Φοινικικά,
και τες καλές πραγμάτειες ν' αποκτήσεις,
σεντέφια και κοράλλια, κεχριμπάρια κ' έβενους,
και ηδονικά μυρωδικά κάθε λογής,
όσο μπορείς πιο άφθονα ηδονικά μυρωδικά
σε πόλεις Αιγυπτιακές πολλές να πας,
να μάθεις και να μάθεις απ' τους σπουδασμένους.

Πάντα στον νου σου νάχεις την Ιθάκη.
Το φθάσιμον εκεί είν' ο προορισμός σου.
Αλλά μη βιάζεις το ταξίδι διόλου.
Καλλίτερα χρόνια πολλά να διαρκέσει
και γέρος πια ν' αράξεις στο νησί,
πλούσιος με όσα κέρδισες στον δρόμο,
μη προσδοκώντας πλούτη να σε δώσει η Ιθάκη.

Η Ιθάκη σ' έδωσε το ωραίο ταξίδι.
Χωρίς αυτήν δεν θάβγαινες στον δρόμο.
Αλλο δεν έχει να σε δώσει πια.

Κι αν πτωχική την βρεις, η Ιθάκη δεν σε γέλασε.
Ετσι σοφός που έγινες, με τόση πείρα,
ήδη θα το κατάλαβες η Ιθάκες τι σημαίνουν.

Κωνσταντίνος Π. Καβάφης (1911)
 
Useful sites
 
 
 
I m waiting your comments and to add other modern Greek poets.


 
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Mar-2012 at 20:11
POSEIDONIANS


       "The Poseidonians forgot the Greek language
	after so many centuries of mingling
	with Tyrrhenians, Latins, and other foreigners.
	The only thing surviving from their ancestors
	was a Greek festival, with beautiful rites,
	with lyres and flutes, contests and wreaths.
	And it was their habit toward the festival's end
	to tell each other about their ancient customs
	and once again to speak Greek names
	that only few of them still recognized.
	And so their festival always had a melancholy ending
	because they remebered that they too were Greeks,
	they too once upon a time were citizens of Magna Graecia;
	and how low they'd fallen now, what they'd become,
	living and speaking like barbarians,
	cut off so disastrously from the Greek way of life."

				C. Cavafy
			 translated by E. Keeley and P. Sherrard
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Mar-2012 at 22:39
DEATH AND RESURRECTION
 	OF CONSTANTINOS PALAEOLOGOS

		by
	   Odysseas Elytis

               I

As he stood there erect before the Gate 
and impregnable in his sorrow

Far from the world where his spirit sought
to bring Paradise to his measure  
And harder even than stone  
for no one had ever looked
on him tenderly - at times his crooked teeth
whitened strangely

And as he passed by with his gaze a little
beyond mankind and from them all
extracted One who smiled on him
The Real one
Whom death could never seize

He took care to pronounce the word
sea clearly that all the dolphins
within it might shine
And the desolation so great it might
contain all of God
and every  waterdrop ascending steadfastly toward
the sun

As a young man he had seen gold glittering
and gleaming on the shoulders of the great
And one night
he remembers
during a great storm the neck of the sea
roared so it turned murky
but he would not submit to it

The world's an oppressive place to live through
yet with a little pride it's worth it.

        II

Dear God what now
Who had to battle with thousands
and not only his loneliness
Who?
He who knew with a single word 
how to slake the thirst of entire worlds
What?

From whom they had taken everything
And his sandals with their criss-crossed 
straps and his pointed trident
and the wall he mounted every afternoon like
an unruly and pitching boat
to hold the reigns against the weather

And a handful of vervain
which he had rubbed on a girl's cheek
at midnight
to kiss her
(how the waters of the moon gurled
on the stone steps three cliff-lengths 
above the sea...)

Noon out of night
And not one person by his side
Only his faithful words that mingled
all their colors to leave in his hand
a lance of white light

And opposite
along the whole wall's length
a host of heads poured in plaster
as far as his eyes could see

"Noon out of night - all life a radiance!"
he shouted and rushed into the horde
dragging behind him an endless golden line

And at once he felt 
the final pallor 
overmastering him
as it hastened from afar.

            III

Now
as the sun's wheel turned more and more swiftly
the courtyards plunged into winter and once
again emerged red from the geranium

And the small cool domes
like blue medusae
reached each time higher to the silverwork
the wind so delicately worked as a painting
for other times more distant

Virgin maidens
their breasts glowing a summer dawn
brought him branches of fresh palm leaves
and those of the myrtle uprooted
from the depths of the sea

Dripping iodine
While under his feet he heard
the prows of black ships
sucked into the great whirlpool
the ancient and smoked seacraft
from which still erect with riveted gaze
the Mothers of God stood rebuking

Horses overturned on dumpheaps
a rabble of buildings large and small
debris and dust flaming in the air

And there lying prone
always with an unbroken word
between his teeth
                   Himself
                the last of the Hellenes!
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Mar-2012 at 20:22
...
I brought you up with soil and water
a young swallow to be and yet a wild creature,
to have you as my alphabet-book in the times
and as my unfading nightlight in memory.

But you, looking for the source of dreams
near the Virgin Mary,
developed wings, refused the land
our dark, our first mother.

		Nikos Gkatsos,  "Dark Mother"
		translation Marios Dikaiakos

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Mar-2012 at 01:52
GIFT SILVER POEM

	I know that all this is worthless  and that the language
	I speak doesn't have an alphabet
	
	Since the sun and the waves are a syllabic script
	which can be deciphered only in the years of sorrow and exile
	
	And the motherland  a fresco with successive overlays
	frankish or slavic which, should you try to restore,
	you are immediately sent to prison and
	held responsible

	To a crowd of foreign Powers  always through
	the intervention of your own

	As it happens for the disasters
	
	But  let's imagine that in an old days' threshing-floor
	which might be in an apartment-complex children
	are playing and  whoever loses

	Should, according to the rules, tell the others
	and give them a truth

	Then everyone ends up  holding in his
	hand a small
	
	Gift, silver poem.


				Odysseas Elytis
			"The Tree of Light and The Fourteenth Beauty"

	Translation from Greek: Marios Dikaiakos
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Apr-2012 at 01:44
Odysseas Elytis

Calendar of an Invisible April

he wind was wistling continuously, it was 
	 getting darker, and  that distant voice was 
	 incessantly reaching my ears : "an entire life"...
	 "an entire life"...
         On the opposite wall, the shadows of the 
	 trees were playing cinema"

		----------------


	"It seems that somewhere people are celebrating;
	 although there are no houses or human beings
	 I can listen to guitars and other laughters which
	 are not nearby

	 Maybe far away, within the ashes of heavens
	 Andromeda, the Bear, or the Virgin...

	 I wonder; is loneliness the same, all over the
	 worlds ? "

		----------------

   	"Almond-shaped, elongated eyes, lips; perfumes stemming
   	 from a premature sky of great feminine delicacy
   	 and fatal drunkeness.
 
   	 I leant on my side -almost fell- onto the
   	 hymns to the Virgin and the cold of spacious
   	 gardens.

   	 Prepared for the worst."

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Sep-2012 at 11:43
HALASMATA (RUINS) from Still Life by Kostis Palamas
Translated by Alex Moskios

 I returned to my golden playgrounds,
I returned to my white boyhood trail,
I returned to see the wondrous palace,
Built just for me by love's divine ways.
Blackberry bushes now cover the boyhood trail,
And the midday suns have burned the playgrounds,
And a tremor has destroyed my palace so rare,
 And in the midst of fallen walls and burned Timbers,
I remain lifeless; lizards and snakes
With me now live the sorrows and the hates;
And of my palace a broken mass now remains.
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  Quote ladychristine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jan-2016 at 02:05
“She glared at me like she was about to punch me, but then she did something that surprised me even more. She kissed me.
"Be careful seaweed brain." She said putting on her invisible cap and disappearing.
I probably would have sat there all day, trying to remember my name, but then the sea demons came.”
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