Google Doodle honors Odysseas Elytis – The Poet of Freedom

Odysseus Elytis

1911–1996

Odysseus Elytis

[source]

Odysseus Elytis was relatively unknown outside his native Greece when he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1979. Although the Swedish Academy of Letters had in recent years bestowed the honor upon other previously little-known writers—among them Eugenio Montale, Vicente Aleixandre, and Harry Martison—their choice of Elytis came as a surprise nonetheless. The academy declared in its presentation that his poetry “depicts with sensual strength and intellectual clearsightedness, modern man’s struggle for freedom and creativeness. . . . [In] its combination of fresh, sensuous flexibility and strictly disciplined implacability in the face of all compulsion, Elytis’ poetry gives shape to its distinctiveness, which is not only very personal but also represents the traditions of the Greek people.”

To be a Greek and a part of its twenty-five-century-old literary tradition was to Elytis a matter of great pride. His words, upon acceptance of the Nobel Prize, gave evidence of this deep regard for his people and country: “I would like to believe that with this year’s decision, the Swedish Academy wants to honor in me Greek poetry in its entirety. I would like to think it also wants to draw the attention of the world to a tradition that has gone on since the time of Homer, in the embrace of Western civilization.”

Elytis was born Odysseus Alepoudelis, in the city of Heraklion, on the island of Crete. To avoid any association to his wealthy family of soap manufacturers, he later changed his surname to reflect those things he most treasured. Frank J. Prial of the New York Times explained that the poet’s pseudonymous name was actually “a composite made up of elements of Ellas, the Greek word for Greece; elpidha, the word for hope; eleftheria, the word for freedom, and Eleni, the name of a figure that, in Greek mythology, personifies beauty and sensuality.”

AEGEAN

 

              I.       

 

Love

The network of islands

And the prow of its foam

And the gulls of its dreams

On its highest mast a sailor

Whistles a song.

 

Love

Its song

And the horizons of its voyage

And the sound of its longing

On its wettest rock the bride

Waits for a ship.

 

Love

Its ship

And the nonchalance of its winds

And the jib sail of its hope

On the lightest of its waves an island

Cradles the arrival.

 

                                                    II.       

 

Playthings, the waters

In their shadowy flow

Speak with their kisses about the dawn

That begins

Horizoning —

 

And the pigeons in their cave

Rustle their wings

Blue awakening in the source

Of day

Sun —

 

The northwest wind bestows the sail

To the sea

The hair’s caress

In the insouciance of its dream

Dew – cool —

 

Waves in the light

Revive the eyes

Where life sails towards

The recognition

Life —

 

                                                 III.       

 

The surf a kiss on its caressed sand –Love

The gull bestows its blue liberty

To the horizon

Waves come and go

Foamy answer in the shell’s ear.

 

Who carried away the blonde and sunburnt girl?

The sea-breeze with its transparent breath

Tilts dream’s sail

Far out

Love murmurs its promise-Surf

 

From Orientations (1940)

 

Elytis first became interested in poetry around the age of seventeen. At the same time he discovered surrealism, a school of thought just emerging in France. He soon became absorbed in the literature and teachings of the surrealists and worked to incorporate aspects of this new school into the centuries-old Greek literary tradition. Elytis later explained the motivations behind his embracing of the French ideals: “Many facets of surrealism I cannot accept, such as its paradoxical side, its championing of automatic writing; but after all, it was the only school of poetry—and, I believe, the last in Europe—which aimed at spiritual health and reacted against the rationalist currents which had filled most Western minds. Since surrealism had destroyed this rationalism like a hurricane, it had cleared the ground in front of us, enabling us to link ourselves physiologically with our soil and to regard Greek reality without the prejudices that have reigned since the Renaissance.”

Thus, Elytis adapted only selected principles of surrealism to his Greek reality. Free association of ideas, a concept he often made use of, allowed him to portray objects in their “reality” but also in their “surreality.” This is shown in various poems, as when a young girl is transformed into a fruit, a landscape becomes a human body, and the mood of a morning takes on the form of a tree. “I have always been preoccupied with finding the analogies between nature and language in the realm of imagination, a realm to which the surrealists also gave much importance, and rightly so,” claimed Elytis. “Everything depends on imagination, that is, on the way a poet sees the same phenomenon as you do, yet differently from you.”

Prosanatolizmi (“Orientations”), published in 1936, was Elytis’s first volume of poetry. Filled with images of light and purity, the work earned for its author the title of the “sun-drinking poet.” Edmund Keeley, a frequent translator of Elytis’s work, observed that these “first poems offered a surrealism that had a distinctly personal tone and a specific local habitation. The tone was lyrical, humorous, fanciful, everything that is young.” In a review of a later work, The Sovereign Sun, a writer for the Virginia Quarterly Review echoed Keeley’s eloquent praise: “An intuitive poet, who rejects pessimism and engages in his surrealistic images the harsh realities of life, Elytis is a voice of hope and naked vigor. There is light and warmth, an awakening to self, body, and spirit, in Elytis.”

(personal comment: for those unfamiliar with the Elitis poetry or Theodorakis' music, this video is highly worth the watch)

THE BLOOD of love has robed me in purple
And joys never seen before have covered me in shade.
I’ve become corroded in the south wind of humankind
Mother far away, my Everlasting Rose.

On the open sea they lay in wait for me,
With triple-masted men-of-war they bombarded me,
My sin that I too had a love of my own
Mother far away, my Everlasting Rose.

Once in July her large eyes
Half-opened, deep down my entrails, to light up
The virgin life for a single moment
Mother far away, my Everlasting Rose.

And since that day the wrath of ages
Has turned on me, shouting out the curse:
“He who saw you, let him live in blood and stone”
Mother far away, my Everlasting Rose.

Once again I took the shape of my native country,
I grew and flowered among the stones.
And the blood of killers I redeem with light
Mother far away, my Everlasting Rose.

From THE AXION ESTI, by Odysseus Elytis (1911-1996)

The poet, however, disagreed with such descriptions of his work. He suggested that “my theory of analogies may account in part for my having been frequently called a poet of joy and optimism. This is fundamentally wrong. I believe that poetry on a certain level of accomplishment is neither optimistic nor pessimistic. It represents rather a third state of the spirit where opposites cease to exist. There are no more opposites beyond a certain level of elevation. Such poetry is like nature itself, which is neither good nor bad, beautiful nor ugly; it simply is. Such poetry is no longer subject to habitual everyday distinctions.”

With the advent of the World War II, Elytis interrupted his literary activities to fight with the First Army Corps in Albania against the Fascists of Benito Mussolini. His impressions of this brutal period of his life were later recorded in the long poem Iroiko kai penthimo asma ghia ton hameno anthypolohagho tis Alvanias (“A Heroic and Elegiac Song of the Lost Second Lieutenant of the Albanian Campaign”). Regarded as one of the most touchingly human and poignant works inspired by the war, the poem has since become one of the writer’s best-loved works.

Elytis’s next work, To axion esti (“Worthy It Is”), came after a period of more than ten years of silence. Widely held to be his chef d’oeuvre, it is a poetic cycle of alternating prose and verse patterned after the ancient Byzantine liturgy. As in his other writings, Elytis depicted the Greek reality through an intensely personal tone. Keeley, the translator of the volume into English, suggested that To axion esti “can perhaps be taken best as a kind of spiritual autobiography that attempts to dramatize the national and philosophical extensions of the poet’s personal sensibility. Elytis’s strategy in this work . . . is to present an image of the contemporary Greek consciousness through the developing of a persona that is at once the poet himself and the voice of his country.”

After the overwhelming success of To axion esti, which won the National Book Award for Poetry in 1960, questions were raised regarding what new direction Elytis would pursue and whether it would be possible to surpass his masterpiece. When Maria Nefeli was first published in 1978, it met with a curious, yet hesitant public. M. Byron Raizis related in World Literature Today that “some academicians and critics of the older generations still [wanted] to cling to the concept of the ‘sun-drinking’ Elytis of the Aegean spume and breeze and of the monumental Axion Esti, so they [approached] Maria Nefeli with cautious hesitation as an experimental and not-so-attractive creation of rather ephemeral value.”

The Monogram

I’ll always mourn – hearken – for you,
alone, in Paradise

Fate will bend otherwise the lines
on your palm, like a key-bearer;
within some moment Time will affirm this.

How else can it be, since pairs love each other

Heaven will unveil our innards
and innocence will strike upon the world
with the might of death’s blackness

II.

I mourn the sun, and I mourn the years ahead
without us, and I sing of the rest that evanesced,
if they’re true

The bodies conversed while the boats bespattered gently,
the guitars scintillating under the water,
the “believe me”s and the “don’t”s
in turns once in the air, once in the music

The two little pets, our hands
that desired to secretly mount one another;
the flowerpot with the geranium by the open gates;
and the pieces of sea that reached us all together
above the stone hedges, behind the fences;
and the sea-anemone that sat on your arm
and you were thrice affright of purple for three days, up there over the falls.

If these are true I sing of
the wooden beam and the square arras
on the wall showing the Mermaid with the loose hair;
the cat that glanced at us in the dimness.

Oh child with the incense and the red cross,
during the eventide at the inaccessible of the rocks,
I mourn the cloth I touched and the world came to me.

III.

Thusly I speak of you and me

Because I love you and in love I know
to pervade as a full-Moon
from everywhere, towards your slender leg under the endless sheets;
to pluck jasmines; and I have the power
to blow and carry you half-asleep
through moonlit passages and secret sea tunnels:
trees in a trance lustered by webs

The waves have heard of you,
how you caress, how you kiss
how you whisper the “what” and the “hey”;
around the neck at the cove
we were always the light and the shadow

You always the lil’star and I the dark vessel,
you always the port and I the lateral post the starboard one,
the soppy wharf and the glistening on the oars

Up at the house with the vine covered patios
the climber roses, and the water that chills;
you always the stone statue and I always the growing shadow.
you the ajar shutter, and I the wind blowing it open;
because I love you and I love you;
you always the coin and I the adoration that reimburses it.

Suchly the night, suchly the wind’s roar,
suchly the droplet in the air, suchly the stillness,
the predominant sea all around,
the sky’s dome along with the stars,
suchly your indiscernible breath,

that now I don’t have noting else;
within four walls, the ceiling, the floor
I’m calling you and my voice rings me back;
I smell of you and people getting bewildered
because the untried and the outlandish
isn’t tolerable to the people and it’s too soon, hearken;
it’s still too soon in this world my love

to speak of you and me.

IV.

it’s still too soon in this world, hearken;
the monsters aren’t tamed yet; hearken;
my wasted blood and the sharp-pointed, hearken;
dagger
that hastens through the skies
and bashes the twigs of the stars
it’s me; hearken;
I love you; hearken;
I’m carrying you and I’m leading you and I’m dressing you
with Ophelia’s white bridal gown; hearken;
where are you leaving me, where are you going and who; hearken;

is holding your hand through the deluges.

The huge lianas¹ and the volcanic lava;
the day will come, hearken;
let them bury us and the thousands afterward years
let them turn us into shiny rocks, hearken;
to reflect upon them the pitilessness; hearken;
of people,
and let them throw us in thousands of bits
in the waters one by one, hearken.
And time is a big cathedral, hearken;
where every so often the figures of Saints
are shedding true tears, hearken;
the belfry opens up towards heaven, hearken;
an unfathomable passage for me to cross;
the angels are waiting with candles and requiem psalms;
I’m not going anywhere, hearken;
either nobody or both of us; hearken.

This flower of thunderstorm and, hearken;
of love
we snipped it off for good
and it isn’t workable for it to blossom otherwise, hearken;
on another land, on another star, hearken;
there isn’t the soil or the air
we’ve touched, the same ones, hearken;

and no gardener was fair fortuned in any other time,

through such a winter and under such northerns, hearken;
to flourish even a bud, just us, hearken;
amid the sea
with the desire of love alone, hearken;
we’ve grown a whole island, hearken;
with coves and headlands and blossomed cliffs.
Heed, heed;
who’s talking to the waters and who’s crying; do you hear?
Who’s asking for the other, who’s calling out;
do you hear?
I’m the one calling out and I’m the one crying, hearken;
I love you, I love you, hearken.

V.

I’ve talked about you in times bygone,
with wise governesses and war veteran partisans,
about the cause of your wildcatish sorrow,
about the glint on your forehead like trembling waters
and about why, mind you, I was destined to bind with you
I who I don’t wish for love but I wish for wind,
but I wish for galloping bareback on the reared up sea.

And no one has heard of you,
about you neither the dittany nor the mushroom,
way up on Crete’s highlands, heard anything,
only God accepted to lead me by the hand to you;

a bit here, a bit there, carefully around everything,
your face’s seaside, your bays, the hair
on the hill waving to the left,

your body in a posture like an isolated pine,
eyes full of pride and of translucent
seabed, in the house with the antique display cabinet
the yellow laced needleworks and the cypress wood.
I always waited for you to come into view

upstairs in the attic, or at the back on the porch’s cobblestones
with the Saint’s steed and the Eastern egg,

as if in an abraded wall painting
as big as my small life wanted to be,
like fitting in a lil’candle the thunderous volcanic blaze, you,
who nobody has seen or heard,
nothing in the wilderness or the desolate houses,
neither the buried ascendant at the far edge of the yard,
about you, not even that bedlam with all her herbs,
about you solely me, may be, the music too
that I rout from within me but keeps coning back stronger;
about you, the twelve year old unformed breast
pointing to the future with it’s red crater,
about you the bitter smell like a needle
that finds it’s way through the body and pierces the remembrance
and there behold the soil, behold the doves, behold our ancient land.

VI.

I’ve seen a lot and land in my mind seems prettier,
prettier amid the golden vapors,
the sharp rocks, prettier,
the blue waters of the straits and the roofs peaking above the waves,
prettier, the beams that you cross without stepping
invincible like the Goddess of Samothrace² above the mountains of sea.

Thusly my view of you so that it’s adequate
for time to be exculpated;
in the wake left by your passage
it is following like a verdant dolphin

and playing with the white and the blue, my soul!

Victory, victory while I’m beaten
before love and with it;
to the passion flower and the turkish rose bush³
go, go never mind I perished.

Alone I am, even if the sun you’re holding is a newborn child;
alone, even if I am the mourning homeland;
let the word I sent you hold a laurel leave for you;
alone, the strong wind and alone the well rounded
pebble in the winking of the dark depths
that the fisher pulled out and threw back in the times, in Paradise!

VII.
In Paradise I’ve spotted an island
indistinguishable from you and a house by the sea

with a large bed and a small door;
I’ve cast an echo in it’s groundwork
to look at myself every morning I rise,

half to see you crossing the waters
and half to weep over you in Paradise…

The reason behind the uncertainty many Elytis devotees felt toward this new work stemmed from its radically different presentation. Whereas his earlier poems dealt with the almost timeless expression of the Greek reality, “rooted in my own experience, yet . . . not directly [transcribing] actual events,” he once stated, Maria Nefeli was based on a young woman he actually met. Different from the women who graced his early work, the woman in Elytis’s poem had changed to reflect the troubled times in which she lives. “This Maria then is the newest manifestation of the eternal female,” noted Raizis, “the most recent mutation of the female principle which, in the form of Maria, Helen and other more traditional figures, had haunted the quasi-idyllic and erotic poems of [Elytis’s youth].” Raizis explained further that Maria is the “attractive, liberated, restless or even blase representative of today’s young woman. . . . This urban Nefeli is the offspring, not the sibling, of the women of Elytis’s youth. Her setting is the polluted city, not the open country and its islands of purity and fresh air.”

The poem consists of the juxtaposed statements of Maria Nefeli, who represents the ideals of today’s emerging woman, and Antifonitis, or the Responder, who stands for more traditional views. Through Maria, the Responder is confronted with issues which, though he would like to ignore them, he is forced to come to terms with. Rather than flat, lifeless characters who expound stale and stereotyped maxims, however, “both are sophisticated and complex urbanites who express themselves in a wide range of styles, moods, idioms and stanzaic forms,” maintained Raizis.

Despite the initial reservations voiced by some critics, Maria Nefeli came to be regarded as the summa of Elytis’s later writings. Gini Politi, for example, announced: “I believe that Maria Nefeli is one of the most significant poems of our times, and the response to the agony it includes is written; this way it saves for the time being the language of poetry and of humaneness.” Kostas Stamatiou, moreover, expressed a common reaction to the work: “After the surprise of a first reading, gradually the careful student discovers beneath the surface the constants of the great poet: faith in surrealism, fundamental humanism, passages of pure lyricism.”

Robert Shannan Peckham in the Times Literary Supplement noted that Elytis’s reputation as a major poet was ensured when he received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1979. Elytis, though, was also a prolific essayist, writing a variety of nonfiction criticism translated and collected in Carte Blanche: Selected Writings in 2000. Peckham argued that the essays need to read “as an extension of the poetry, exuberantly lyrical and self-consciously metaphysical. . . . The essays cohere through an associative, poetic logic, rather than developing any sustained critical argument.” Peckham concluded that the collection would not “secure Elytis a place among the outstanding essayists of the twentieth century,” but praised the translation by David Connolly.

In an interview with Ivar Ivask for Books Abroad,Elytis summarized his life’s work: “I consider poetry a source of innocence full of revolutionary forces. It is my mission to direct these forces against a world my conscience cannot accept, precisely so as to bring that world through continual metamorphoses more in harmony with my dreams. I am referring here to a contemporary kind of magic whose mechanism leads to the discovery of our true reality. It is for this reason that I believe, to the point of idealism, that I am moving in a direction which has never been attempted until now. In the hope of obtaining a freedom from all constraint and the justice which could be identified with absolute light, I am an idolater who, without wanting to do so, arrives at Christian sainthood.”

Career

Poet and writer. Hellenic National Broadcasting Institution, Athens, Greece, broadcasting and program director, 1945-47 and 1953-54; art and literary critic for Kathimerini (newspaper) in Greece, 1946-48. Adviser to Art Theatre, 1955-56, and to Greek National Theatre, 1965-68; member of administrative board, Greek National Theatre, 1974-76; president of administrative board, Greek Broadcasting and Television, 1974; represented Greece at Second International Gathering of Modern Painters, in Geneva, Switzerland, 1948, and at Congress of International Association of Art Critics, in Paris, France, 1949; president of governing board of Greek Ballet, 1956-58. Military service: First Army Corps, 1940-41; served in Albania; became second lieutenant.

Της δικαιοσύνης ήλιε νοητέ

Της δικαιοσύνης ήλιε νοητέ
και μυρσίνη συ δοξαστική
μη παρακαλώ σας μη
λησμονάτε τη χώρα μου!

Αετόμορφα έχει τα ψηλά βουνά
στα ηφαίστεια κλήματα σειρά
και τα σπίτια πιο λευκά
στου γλαυκού το γειτόνεμα!

Της Ασίας αν αγγίζει από τη μια
της Ευρώπης λίγο αν ακουμπά
στον αιθέρα στέκει να
και στη θάλασσα μόνη της!

Τα πικρά μου χέρια με τον Κεραυνό
τα γυρίζω πίσω άπ’ τον Καιρό
τους παλιούς μου φίλους καλώ
με φοβέρες και μ’ αίματα!

Μα’ χουν όλα τα αίματα ξαντιμεθεί
κι οι φοβέρες αχ λατομηθεί
και στον έναν ο άλλος
μπαίνουν εναντίον οι άνεμοι!

Το Μονόγραμμα του Οδυσσέα Ελύτη (απόσπασμα)

Σ” αγαπάω μ” ακούς;
Κλαίω, πως αλλιώς, αφού αγαπιούνται οι άνθρωποι
κλαίω για τα χρόνια που έρχονται χωρίς εμάς
και τραγουδάω για τα αλλά που πέρασαν, εάν είναι αλήθεια.
Για τα «πίστεψέ με» και τα «μη.»
Μια στον αέρα μια στη μουσική,
εάν αυτά είναι αλήθεια τραγουδάω
κλαίω για το σώμα πού άγγιξα και είδα τον κόσμο.
Έτσι μιλώ για “σένα και για “μένα..
Επειδή σ” αγαπάω και στην αγάπη
ξέρω να μπαίνω σαν πανσέληνος
από παντού, για “σένα
μέσα στα σεντόνια, να μαδάω λουλούδια κι έχω τη δύναμη.
Αποκοιμισμένο, να φυσάω να σε πηγαίνω παντού,
σ” έχουν ακούσει τα κύματα πως χαϊδεύεις,
πως φιλάς, πως λες ψιθυριστά το «τι» και το «ε.»
Πάντα εμείς το φως κι η σκιά.
Πάντα εσύ τ” αστεράκι και πάντα εγώ το σκοτάδι,
πάντα εσύ το πέτρινο άγαλμα και πάντα εγώ η σκιά πού μεγαλώνει.
Το κλειστό παντζούρι εσύ, ο αέρας πού το ανοίγει εγώ.
Επειδή σ” αγαπάω και σ” αγαπάω.
Πάντα εσύ το νόμισμα και εγώ η λατρεία που το εξαργυρώνει
τόσο η νύχτα, τόσο η βοή στον άνεμο.
Τόσο η ελάχιστη σου αναπνοή που πια
δεν έχω τίποτε άλλο μες στους τέσσερις τοίχους,
το ταβάνι, το πάτωμα να φωνάζω από “σένα
και να με χτυπά η φωνή μου
να μυρίζω από “σένα και ν” αγριεύουν οι άνθρωποι.
Επειδή το αδοκίμαστο και το απ” αλλού φερμένο
δεν τ” αντέχουν οι άνθρωποι κι είναι νωρίς, μ’ακούς;
Είναι νωρίς ακόμη μέσα στον κόσμο αυτόν αγάπη μου
να μιλώ για “σένα και για μένα.
Είναι νωρίς ακόμη μες στον κόσμο αυτόν, μ” ακούς;
Είμ” εγώ, μ” ακούς; Σ” αγαπάω, μ” ακούς;
Πού μ” αφήνεις, που πας, μ” ακούς;
Θα “ρθει μέρα, μ” ακούς; για μας, μ” ακούς;
Πουθενά δεν πάω, μ” ακούς;
Ή κανείς ή κι οι δύο μαζί, μ” ακούς;
το λουλούδι αυτό της καταιγίδας και μ” ακούς;
Της αγάπης μια για πάντα το κόψαμε
και δεν γίνεται ν” ανθίσει αλλιώς, μ” ακούς;
Σ” άλλη γη, σ’ άλλο αστέρι, μ” ακούς;
δεν υπάρχει το χώμα δεν υπάρχει ο αέρας που αγγίξαμε,
ο ίδιος, μ” ακούς;
και κανείς δεν κατάφερε από τόσον χειμώνα
κι από τόσους βοριάδες, μ” ακούς;
Νά τινάξει λουλούδι, μόνο εμείς, μ” ακούς;
Μες στη μέση της θάλασσας
από το μόνο θέλημα της αγάπης, μ “ακούς.
Ανεβάσαμε ολόκληρο νησί, μ” ακούς.
Άκου, ποιος μιλάει στα νερά και ποιος κλαίει, ακούς;
Είμαι εγώ που φωνάζω κι είμαι εγώ που κλαίω, μ” ακούς;
Σ” αγαπάω, σ’ αγαπάω, μ” ακούς;
Για “σένα έχω μιλήσει σε καιρούς παλιούς
και γιατί, λέει, να μέλει κοντά σου να “ρθω.
Που δεν θέλω αγάπη αλλά θέλω τον αέρα που αναπνέεις
και για “σένα κανείς δεν είχε ακούσει.
Μόνη να περιμένω που θα πρωτοφανείς
σαν από μια εικόνα καταστραμμένη.
Που κανείς να μην έχει δει για σένα για “σένα μόνο εγώ,
μπορεί, και η μουσική που διώχνω μέσα μου
αλλά αυτή γυρίζει δυνατότερη για “σένα,
όλα για “σένα, για “σένα σαν καρφίτσα η μυρωδιά η πικρή.
Που βρίσκει μες στο σώμα και που τρυπάει τη θύμηση
έτσι σ” έχω κοιτάξει που μου αρκεί.
Να” χει ο χρόνος όλος αθωωθεί μες σε αυτά που το πέρασμα σου αφήνει.
Νίκη, νίκη όπου έχω νικηθεί πριν από εσένα και μαζί σου.
Πήγαινε, και ας έχω εγώ χαθεί ένα κρεβάτι μεγάλο και πόρτα μικρή
Έχω ρίξει μέσα μια φωνή κι έναν καθρέφτη να κοιτάζομαι κάθε πρωί που ξυπνώ.
Να σε βλέπω μισό να περνάς από μπροστά μου
και μισή να κλαίω για αυτό που χάνω, σ” αγαπάω… Μ” ακούς;

Σ” αγαπώ, σ” αγαπώ, μ” ακούς.

 

1. Κέλομαι σε Γογγύλα

 

Σε φωνάζω Γογγύλα
Φανερώσου πάλι κοντά μου
Το χιτώνα τον άσπρο σαν το γάλα όταν φοράς,
νά ‘ξερες τους πόθους που σε τριγυρίζουν
όμορφη, και πώς χαίρομαι που δεν είμαι εγώ,
μα η ίδια η Αφροδίτη που σε μαλώνει.

 

2. Ατθίδα

 

Σαν άνεμος μου τίναξε ο έρωτας τη σκέψη
σαν άνεμος που σε βουνό βελανιδιές λυγάει.
‘Ηρθες, καλά που έκανες, που τόσο σε ζητούσα
δρόσισες την ψυχούλα μου, που έκαιγε ο πόθος.
Από το γάλα πιο λευκή
απ’ το νερό πιο δροσερή
κι από το πέπλο το λεπτό, πιο απαλή.
Από το ρόδο πιο αγνή
απ’ το χρυσάφι πιο ακριβή
κι από τη λύρα πιο γλυκιά, πιο μουσική…

 

3. Θεός μου φαίνεται..

 

Θεός μου φαίνεται στ΄ αλήθεια εμένα κείνος
ο άντρας που κάθεται αντίκρυ σου κι από
κοντά τη γλύκα της φωνής σου απολαμβάνει
και το γέλιο σου αχ που ξελογιάζει
και που λιώνει στο στήθος την καρδιά μου
σου τ΄ ορκίζομαι” γιατί μόλις που πάω να
σε κοιτάξω νιώθω ξάφνου μου κόβεται η μιλιά μου
μες στο στόμα η γλώσσα μου
στεγνώνει” πυρετός κρυφός με σιγοκαίει κι
ούτε βλέπω τίποτα ούτε ακούω μα
βουίζουν τ΄ αυτιά μου κι ένας κρύος ιδρώτας
το κορμί μου περιχάει” τρέμω σύγκορμη αχ
και πρασινίζω σάν το χόρτο και λέω πώς λίγο ακόμη”
λίγο ακόμη και πάει θα ξεψυχήσω.

 

4. Το τραγούδι της Αριγνώτας

…..
Συχνά από τις Σάρδες σε μας δώ πέρα
η σκέψη της γυρίζει,
πως ζούσαμε μαζί,
τι εφάνταζες εμπρός της σα μια θεά,
κι η ποιο τρανή χαρά της
το δικό σου τραγούδι ήτανε πάντα.

Τώρα μέσα στις Λυδές γυναίκες ξεχωρίζει
καθώς σαν πέσει ο ήλιος
κι η σελήνη ροδοδάχτυλη λάμπει
τ’ άστρα τ’ άλλα σκοτεινιάζοντας
κι ίδια γύρω αφήνει το φώς της να απλωθεί
πα σ’ αλμυρά πελάγη και σε πολύανθες χώρες.

Κι έχει πάρει γλυκιά δροσιά να χύνεται
τα ρόδα μοσχοβολούν και τ’ απαλό χορτάρι
και το τριφύλλι ολούθε τ’ ανθισμένο.

Κι εκείνη πέρα δώθε τριγυρίζει
την Ατθίδα θυμάμενη
η καρδιά της η τρυφερή από πόθο πλημμυρίζει
κι απ’ τον καημό βαραίνει μες τα στήθη.

Κι εμας τις δυό φωνάζει
να βρεθούμε κοντά της.
‘Ομως, […]

 

5. Αποχαιρετισμός στην μαθήτρια..

 

“Να ‘σαι ευτυχισμένη, πήγαινε, άλλωστε τίποτα δε διαρκεί.
Να θυμάσαι όμως πάντα πόσο σ’ αγάπησα,
κρατιόμασταν χέρι χέρι μέσα στη νύχτα που ευωδίαζε,
πηγαίναμε στην πηγή ή τριγυρίζαμε στους λόγγους
κι έφτιαχνα για το λαιμό σου γιρλάντες μεθυστικές”.

 

6. Απόσπασμα

 
”κι ανάμεσα σε μαλακά σκεπάσματα χνουδάτα
με προσοχή την πλάγιασε
α να `ταν πάντα το κεφάλι ν’ ακουμπάς
σε τέτοιας φιλενάδας τρυφερής τα στήθη
να κράταγε για μένα δυο φορές η νύχτα ετούτη
να `ταν χρυσή Αφροδίτη μου
τέτοια μια μοίρα να μου λάχει εμένα!»

 

7. Για την Ατθίδα

 

«πάλι πάλι ο έρωτας` ο έρωτας με παιδεύει
και πώς να τον παλέψω Ατθίδα μου` που
αυτός με τα φαρμάκια και τις γλύκες του
μου κόβει τα ήπατα το τέρας!
κι εσύ πάει με βαρέθηκες`
κάνεις φτερά το ξέρω για την Ανδρομέδα
ποια `ναι λοιπόν αυτή που σε ξετρέλανε
η χωριάτα που μήτε
καν πώς να κρατήσει το φουστάνι της πάνω
από τον αστράγαλο δεν ξέρει;»

 

 

8. Για την Μίκα

 

«μα να σ’ αφήκω εγώ δε γίνεται Μίκα γλυκιά μου`
κι ας έλαχε να σ’ αγαπήσουν κόρες από το σόι των Πενθελιδών
εμάς όλο παραξενιές
κάποιο μαγευτικό τραγούδι στ’ άκουσμα ψάλλει
κι αηδόνια με κελαηδητό τρελό
δρόσο σταλάζοντας…»

 

9. Αποσπάσματα..

 

”….

μια παιδούλα τρυφερή λεπτή που μάζευε
αγκαλιές λουλούδια που η φωνή της κι
απ’ της λύρας είναι ακόμη πιο γλυκιά
πιο λευκή κι απ’ το γάλα πιο γλυκόπιοτη α-
πό το νερό πιο μελωδική απ’ τη λύρα πιο
γαύρη απ’ της φοράδας πιο βελούδινη απ’
το ρόδο πιο τρυφερή απ’ το ρούχο το απαλό
πιο πολύτιμη από το χρυσάφι.”

”…

μαντατοφόρος άνοιξης ηδονικής φωνής αηδόνι
της Αφροδίτης η θεραπαινίδα η χρυσοφώτεινη
ανέβαινε ψηλά η πανσέληνος
και στου βουνού το χώρο συναγμένες
καθώς σ’ άλλους καιρούς της Κρήτης οι κοπέλες
έσερναν το χορό τριγύρω στον ωραίο βωμό
και με ρυθμό τα λυγερά τα πόδια τους
χτυπώντας πατούσανε στα τρυφερά των χόρτων
ανθουλάκια.”

”…
αρχινώ το τραγούδι μου μ’ αιθέρια λόγια
μα γι’αυτό κι απαλά στ’ άκουσμα
την Ομορφιά διακόνησα-τι ποιο μεγάλο θα μπορούσα
που μ’ αξίωσαν (οι Μούσες) τη δική τους
δύναμη δίνοντας να λέω: αλήθεια
σε μελλούμενους καιρούς κάποιος
θα βρίσκεται να με θυμάτ’ εμένα.”

11.  Γρήγορα η ώρα πέρασε..

 
γρήγορα η ώρα πέρασε,μεσάνυχτα κοντεύουν,
πάει το φεγγάρι πάει κι η Πούλια βα-
σιλέψανε-και μόνο εγώ κείτομαι δω μονάχη
κι έρημη ο Έρωτας που βάσανα μοιράζει
ο Έρωτας που παραμύθια πλάθει
μου άρπαξε την ψυχή μου και την τρά-
νταξε ίδια καθώς αγέρας από τα βουνά χυ-
μάει μέσα στους δρυς φυσομανώντας.

I listen to his poems with the music of Theodorakis while i compile this post and I truly forget all languages i happen to speak,I lament because Greece had to be the symbol of Tyranny in the 21st century. Where did all those brilliant mind go now we  need them so much? Why we don’t have minds like that anymore? Why literature,culture and civilization had to die so brutally. But again,if he were alive .. he would be arrested for the verses he would be curving on a stone…These are my own thoughts. Forgive me.

Inner Sun of Justice, conceived by the mind

And you, οh myrtle, glory-bringing myrtle

I implore you; please do not

do not forget my country

If I “liked” my own post is because I love his poetry,and not only his..Not out of vanity,I didn’t write any great poem..But because his poetry,his words,his thoughts and his concerns are representing still our sad reality,a reality that we want to change but takes all of us to achieve it..

2 thoughts on “Google Doodle honors Odysseas Elytis – The Poet of Freedom

  1. Pingback: 101 χρόνια από τη γέννηση του Οδυσσέα Ελύτη – 101 years since the birth of Odysseus Elytis « OMADEON

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