Odysseus Elytis, They Came

THEY CAME dressed up as  “friends,” came countless times, my enemies, trampling the primeval soil. And the soil never blended with their heel. They brought The Wise One, the Founder, and the Geometer, Bibles of letters and numbers, every kind of  Submission and Power, to sway over the primeval light. And the light never blended with their …

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Giorgos Seferis, DENIAL

DENIAL 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..

Manolis Anagnostakis, 13-12-43

13-12-43 Remember me telling you: when the boats whistle don’t be in the port. But the day that was leaving was ours and we didn’t want to ever let it go A bitter handkerchief will greet the tedium of return. It really was raining a lot and the streets were deserted With a delicate, vaguely …

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Andreas Embiricos, Winter Grapes

Winter Grapes They took away her toys and her lover. Well then she bowed her head and almost died. But her thirteen destinies like her fourteen years smote the fleeing calamities. No one spoke. No one ran to protect her against the overseas sharks which had already cast an evil shadow over her like a …

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Nikephoros Vrettakos, Without You

Without You Without you doves wouldn’t find water. Without you God wouldn’t switch on the light in his fountains. An apple tree sows its blossoms in the wind; in your apron you bring water from the sky the glow of wheat, and above you a moon of sparrows

Constantine Cavafy, Walls

Walls Without consideration, without pity, without shame they have built great and high walls around me. And now I sit here and despair. I think of nothing else: this fate gnaws at my mind; for I had many things to do outside. Ah why did I not pay attention when they were building the walls. …

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Constantine Cavafy, The City

The City You said: «I’ll go to another country, go to another shore, find another city better than this one. Whatever I try to do is fated to turn out wrong and my heart lies buried like something dead. How long can I let my mind moulder in this place? Wherever I turn, wherever I …

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Constantine P. Cavafy, Ithaka

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 on your way as long as you keep your thoughts raised high, as long as a rare excitement stirs your spirit …

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Костас Кариотакис – Κ. Καρυωτάκης, Φυγή

Φυγή Αμίλητη, κυνηγημένη φτάνει σ’ ερειπωμένο τοίχο. στηρίζεται και περιμένει ένα κελάδημα, ένα στίχο. Γύρω το δάσος με τις μπόρες φεύγει σαν πλοίο στην τρικυμία. Κι ήτανε ημέρες ανθοφόρες -επέρασαν- κι ήτανε μία… Τώρα την άβυσσο ρωτάει πώς βρέθηκε άξαφνα δωπέρα, ενώ στα μάτια της κρατάει φως όλη, εκείνη την ημέρα. Ψυχή, λησμόνει τα όνειρά …

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