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.

The Odyssey — a Modern Sequel, Extract 1

In honor of Greek Independence Day, we present this work by a giant of Greek literature.

Nikos Kazantzakis
Greek
1883 – 1957

 

Then flesh dissolved, glances congealed, the heart’s pulse stopped,
and the great mind leapt to the peak of its holy freedom,
fluttered with empty wings, then upright through the air
soared high and freed itself from its last cage, its freedom.
All things like frail mist scattered till but one brave cry
for a brief moment hung in the calm benighted waters:
“Forward, my lads, sail on, for Death’s breeze blows in a fair wind!”

Tram and Acropolis

Nikos Engonopoulos
Greek
1907 – 1985

 

le soleil me brule et me rend lumineux

through the monotonous rain
the mud
the ashen atmosphere
the trams pass
and through the deserted marketplace
• deadened by the rain –
they proceed towards
the
terminals

my thought
filled with emotion
follows them lovingly until
they reach
there where the fields begin
where the fields are drowned by the rain
at the terminals

what sorrow it would have been – my God –
what sorrow
if my heart was not consoled
by the hope of marble
and the prospect of a bright sunray
which shall give new life
to the splendid ruins

exactly like
a red flower
amid green leaves

Hymn to Roma

Melinno
Greek
c. 150 B.C.

 

Hail to Roma, the war-god’s daughter
Warrior queen in a golden girdle,
Your Heaven here on earth, eternal
And unassailable.

On you alone, our ancient of days,
Fate has bestowed this royal glory
Of unbroken rule, sovereign strength
To lead where all follow.

For under your yoke, by your strong reins,
The great back of earth and foam-white seas
Are bent; without a falter your steer
The cities of all men.

But time’s great span can topple us all;
Life sways us one way, then another
You alone sail on fair winds of rule
And never alter course.

For you alone have borne strong warriors,
Great spearman, springing up unbidden
Like Demeter’s fruitful ears of corn,
A crop of mortal men.