Marina of the Rocks

We present this work in honor of the 25th anniversary of the poet’s death.

Oddyseas Elytis
Greek
1911 – 1996

 

You have a taste of tempest on your lips—But where did you wander
All day long in the hard reverie of stone and sea?
An eagle-bearing wind stripped the hills
Stripped your longing to the bone
And the pupils of your eyes received the message of chimera
Spotting memory with foam!
Where is the familiar slope of short September
On the red earth where you played, looking down
At the broad rows of the other girls
The corners where your friends left armfuls of rosemary.

But where did you wander
All night long in the hard reverie of stone and sea?
I told you to count in the naked water its luminous days
On your back to rejoice in the dawn of things
Or again to wander on yellow plains
With a clover of light on you breast, iambic heroine.

You have a taste of tempest on your lips
And a dress red as blood
Deep in the gold of summer
And the perfume of hyacinths—But where did you wander
Descending toward the shores, the pebbled bays?

There was cold salty seaweed there
But deeper a human feeling that bled
And you opened your arms in astonishment naming it
Climbing lightly to the clearness of the depths
Where your own starfish shone.

Listen. Speech is the prudence of the aged
And time is a passionate sculptor of men
And the sun stands over it, a beast of hope
And you, closer to it, embrace a love
With a bitter taste of tempest on your lips.

It is not for you, blue to the bone, to think of another summer,
For the rivers to change their bed
And take you back to their mother
For you to kiss other cherry trees
Or ride on the northwest wind.

Propped on the rocks, without yesterday or tomorrow,
Facing the dangers of the rocks with a hurricane hairstyle
You will say farewell to the riddle that is yours.

A Knock at the Door

Lili Bita
Greek
1935 – 2018

 

A distinctive knock
on my door.
I pay no attention.
I’m surrounded
by permanent visitors.
They lie on the table,
the floor,
jostling each other
for room,
sprawling shamelessly
resting their bent spines
and broken backs.

The knock gets louder.

I expect no one.
The tiny harbor
circles its bay
like a slack, half-opened mouth
where the only sounds
are the cicada’s drone
and the endless rehearsals
of the sea.
Even the mailman
is under house arrest.

Peevishly, I open the door.

No one’s there.
Only down the street
two white-sheeted nereids

skirt the precipice
of my childhood.

I Stand for Anarchy

Katerina Gogou
Greek
1940 – 1993

 

Don’t stop me. I’m dreaming.
We’ve been through centuries of injustice.
Centuries of loneliness.
Not now—don’t stop me.
Now here forever and everywhere.
I’m dreaming of freedom.
Gorgeous unique anyone,
let’s restore harmony to the universe.
Let’s play. Knowledge is joy.
It’s not mandatory schoolwork—
I dream because I love you.
Big dreams of the sky, of
workers with their own factories
who contribute to the
global chocolate industry.
I dream because I KNOW and CAN.
Banks give birth to “robbers,”
prisons to “terrorists,”
loneliness to “misfits,”
products to “needs,”
borders to armies.
Ownership gives birth to all of it.
Violence gives birth to violence.
Don’t ask. Don’t stop me.
It’s on us now to make justice
the ultimate act.
Let’s make a poem from life.
Let’s make life an action.
That’s my dream and I can I can I can
I LOVE YOU
Don’t stop my dreaming. Live.
I open my hands
to love to solidarity

to freedom.
24/7, from the very beginning,
I stand for ANARCHY.

The Women Tell Me Every Day

Anacreon
Greek
582 B.C. – 485 B.C.

 

The women tell me every day
That all my bloom has past away.
‘Behold,’ the pretty wantons cry,
‘Behold this mirror with a sigh;
The locks upon thy brow are few,
And, like the rest, they’re withering too!’
Whether decline has thinn’d my hair,
I’m sure I neither know nor care;
But this I know, and this I feel,
As onward to the tomb I steal,
That still as death approaches nearer,
The joys of life are sweeter, dearer;
And had I but an hour to live,
That little hour to bliss I’d give!

Because You Loved Me

Maria Polydouri
Greek
1902 – 1930

 

I only sing because you loved me
in the past years.
And in sun, in summer’s prediction
and in rain and snow,
I only sing because you loved me.

Only because you held me in your arms
one night and you kissed my lips,
only for this I’m beautiful as wide open lily
and I still have a shiver in my soul,
only because you held me in your arms.

Only because your eyes looked at me
with the soul in the glance,
proudly I dressed the supreme
crown of my existence,
only because your eyes looked at me.

Only because as I was passing you noticed me
and from your glance I saw to pass
my lissome shadow as a dream
to play, to suffer,
only because as I was passing you noticed me

Because you called me shyly
and you reached after my hand
and you had in your eyes the blurring
– a complete love,
because you called me shyly.

Because, it liked only to you
that’s why my passing remained beautiful.
It was like you were following me where I was
as if you were passing somewhere close to me.
Because it liked only to you.

I was born only because you loved me,
my life was given for this.
In the graceless, unfulfilled life
my life was fulfilled.
I was born only because you loved me.

Only for your unique love
dawn gave to my hands roses.
So that I light your way for a moment
night filled my eyes with stars,
only for your unique love.

Only because you loved me so well
I lived in order to increase
your dreams, beautiful man that you set
and thus sweetly I die
only because you loved me so well.

Memory

Moero
Greek
c. 300 B.C.

 

Now mighty Zeus was raised in Crete, and not one
of the blessed gods knew about him. In every limb he grew strong,
while doves looked after him in a holy cave
bringing ambrosia from Ocean’s streams,
a mighty eagle, ever drawing nectar from a rock,
in its beak carried a drink for wise Zeus.
After defeating his father Cronus, wide-seeing Zeus
made the eagle immortal and settled it in heaven.
Just so did he bestow honour on the trembling doves
who are the messengers of summer and winter.

Denial

We present this work in honor of the poet’s 120th birthday.

Giorgos Seferis
Greek
1900 – 1971

 

On the secret seashore
white like a pigeon
we thirsted at noon;
but the water was brackish.

On the golden sand
we wrote her name;
but the sea-breeze blew
and the writing vanished.

With what spirit, what heart,
what desire and passion
we lived our life: a mistake!
So we changed our life.