Archive for the ‘AXION ESTI’ Category

Της πατρίδας μου πάλι ομοιώθηκα – Ελύτης

Προσθήκη σχολίου
Στην εκπομπή αυτή ο ποιητής Οδυσσέας Ελύτης μιλά λίγο μετά τη βράβευσή του με το Νόμπελ Λογοτεχνίας (1979). Η αφήγησή του ξεκινά με πληροφορίες για την καταγωγή του και τους τόπους όπου έζησε και τον επηρέασαν. Στη συνέχεια αναφέρεται στην επίδραση των θαλασσινών τοπίων και της αιγαιοπελαγίτικης αισθητικής στην ποίησή του και μιλά για τη σύνδεσή του με τον υπερρεαλισμό, αν και ποτέ δεν υπήρξε αμιγώς υπερρεαλιστής ποιητής. Διευκρινίζει πώς αντιλαμβάνεται την «ελληνικότητα» και τη «διαφάνεια», έννοιες κεντρικές στην ποίησή του, ενώ ιδιαίτερη μνεία επιφυλάσσει στον Διονύσιο Σολωμό, στην ποιητική παράδοση του οποίου θεωρεί ότι ανήκει.

Αναφερόμενος στο μείζον έργο του «Άξιον εστί», εξηγεί τον τρόπο που εργάστηκε για να δημιουργήσει μια ποιητική σύνθεση με αναλογίες χριστιανικής λειτουργίας, αλλά με θεματολογία που θα σχετιζόταν με τη σύγχρονη Ελλάδα και το δράμα της. Παραθέτει επίσης την εμπειρία του στο αλβανικό μέτωπο και πώς αυτή μετουσιώθηκε σε ποίηση στο «Άξιον εστί». Τέλος αναφέρεται στη σχέση του με τους νέους και ση φωνή που τους έδωσε για να εκφραστούν μέσω της ηρωίδας του ομώνυμου έργου του «Μαρία Νεφέλη». Στη διάρκεια της εκπομπής το έργο του ποιητή σχολιάζουνο ΕΥΓΕΝΙΟΣ ΑΡΑΝΙΤΣΗΣ και ο μεταφραστής ΚΙΜΩΝ ΦΡΑΪΑΡ.

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Πηγή: e-rodios.blogspot.gr
by Αντικλείδι , http://antikleidi.com

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elyths

ΑΣΜΑ ΗΡΩΙΚΟ ΚΑΙ ΠΕΝΘΙΜΟ ΓΙΑ ΤΟΝ ΧΑΜΕΝΟ ΑΝΘΥΠΟΛΟΧΑΓΟ ΤΗΣ ΑΛΒΑΝΙΑΣ

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Εκεί που πρώτα εκατοικούσε ο ήλιος
που με τα μάτια μιας παρθένας άνοιγε ο καιρός
καθώς εχιόνιζε απ’ το σκούντημα της μυγδαλιάς ο αγέρας
κι άναβαν στις κορφές των χόρτων καβαλάρηδες.

Εκεί που χτύπαγεν η οπλή ενός πλάτανου λεβέντικου
και μια σημαία πλατάγιζε ψηλά γη κι ουρανό
που όπλο ποτέ σε πλάτη δεν εβάραινε
μα όλος ο κόπος τ’ ουρανού
όλος ο κόσμος έλαμπε σαν μια νεροσταγόνα
πρωί, στα πόδια του βουνού.

Τώρα, σαν από στεναγμό Θεού ένας ίσκιος μεγαλώνει.

Τώρα η αγωνία σκυφτή με χέρια κοκαλιάρικα
πιάνει και σβύνει ένα ένα τα λουλούδια επάνω της
μες στις χαράδρες όπου τα νερά σταμάτησαν
από λιμό χαράς κείτουνται τα τραγούδια
βράχοι καλόγεροι με κρύα μαλλιά
κόβουνε σιωπηλοί της ερημιάς τον άρτο.

Χειμώνας μπαίνει ώς το μυαλό. Κάτι κακό
θ’ ανάψει. Αγριεύει η τρίχα του αλογόβουνου

τα όρνια μοιράζουνται ψηλά τις ψύχες τ’ ουρανού.

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There where the sun used to dwell
where time was opening with the eyes of a virgin
as the wind was snowing from the nudging almond tree
and horse riders were lit on the peaks of grass

There where the hoof of a splendid maple tree struck
and a flag was high flapping earth and water
where weapons never burdened the backs
but all the tiredness of the sky
the whole world shone like a waterdrop
in the morning at the feet of the mountain

Now, as if from God’s sigh a shadow spreads

Now a stooping agony with bony hands
takes and wipes out onto herself one by one the flowers
in the crevasses where waters stopped from
the famine of joy the songs recline;
monks of rocks with cold hair
silently break the bread of desolation.

Winter cuts reaching the bone. Something evil
will be ignited. The mountain-horse’s hair goes wild

Vultures on high share the sky’s crumbs.

~Translated by Manolis Aligizakis

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Reviving Greek Poetry: Giorgios Seferis and Odysseas Elytis

Modern Greek literature is constrained by the greatness of its forebears, as the classical works of Antiquity constitute the pinnacle of canonical greatness. However, as Helena Cuss explains, two twentieth century writers, Giorgios Seferis and Odysseas Elytis, managed to bring new life to Greek poetry, for which they were both awarded the Nobel Prize.
Most readers of classic literature would claim to be well-versed in the great works of Greek literature: The Odyssey and The Illiad from Homer, works of the great philosophers Socrates, Aristotle and Plato and the tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles , and Euripides. These men all belong to a hazy golden age in our imaginations commonly thought of as ‘antiquity’. However, since then, Greek literature has ceased to be a conspicuous presence in the canon of Western literature with which we are all so familiar. The past 500 years or so have seen a flowering of English, American, French, German and Italian literature which have become the great ‘classics’. During the twentieth century burst of Modernism these nations in particular produced the most famed avant-garde thinkers, writers and artists, who shaped the culture we live and breathe today. What may be less well known to most is that in this whirling milieu of radicalism, under the pressure of political turbulence and European instability, two Greek poets were bringing the ancient traditions of the Hellenic past into the modern age, a feat for which they would both receive the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Unknown/WikiCommons
Giorgos Seferis and Odysseas Elytis both originated from outside of Greece (Elytis from Crete, and Seferis from Smyrna, in modern-day Turkey) but both moved with their families to Athens where they received their education. It is not difficult to see how they were both influenced by Greece’s rich cultural heritage, although they identified with different strands. Smyrna was taken by the Turks in 1922, and Seferis, having left in 1914, did not return until 1950. This sense of being an exile from his home deeply affected him, and so it is unsurprising that he identified with the ancient story of Odysseus, told by the great epic poet Homer, in which a hero of the long Trojan War is forced to wander the seas for ten years whilst he attempts to find his way home. It is possible to describe Seferis as something of a wanderer himself, as he had a long and successful diplomatic career, travelling to many different countries as the Greek Ambassador. The wanderer found a sense of closure on his visit to Cyprus in 1953, an island with which he felt an instant affinity, and which inspired him to end a seven year literary dry spell with the release of his book of poems Imerologio Katastromatos III, which celebrated his sense of homecoming.
Seferis’ particular brand of Hellenism, the main reason for his Nobel Prize for Literature in 1963, was concentrated on highlighting a unifying strand of humanism which endures in Greek culture and literature. This desire to find continuity between the cultures of ancient and modern Greece through his own personal interest in humanism is nowhere better demonstrated than in his acceptance speech of his Nobel Prize, in which he adapted a famous Greek myth: ‘When on his way to Thebes Oedipus encountered the Sphinx, his answer to its riddle was: ‘Man’. That simple word destroyed the monster. We have many monsters to destroy. Let us think of the answer of Oedipus.’ His place in Greek culture was demonstrated by the inclusion of a very famous stanza from his Mythistorema in the 2004 Athens Opening Ceremony. Moreover, his place in the hearts of the Greek people had been confirmed some years earlier upon his death: he became an important symbol of resistance against the repressive right-wing regime which terrorised Greece between 1967 and 1974, and at his funeral in 1971 huge crowds followed his coffin singing the words of his poem Denial, which was then banned. The poem itself conjures a wild and romantic vision of a Greek beach setting, but, as is characteristic of his work, with a human story at its heart. Mythistorema’s similarly watery setting is clearly taken from The Odyssey, of which it is in some ways a revised version; however, in the dreamy darkness of the narrative and the fragmentary form, and its rather loose allusions to the original story, it is easy to see the influence of T.S. Eliot’s Wasteland, which Seferis translated into Greek in 1936.

Jorge-11/WikiCommons
Where Seferis pointed the way, Elytis, with his friend’s encouragement, followed, and is today credited with the modernisation of Greek literature. Living in Paris in self-exile between 1948 and 1952, he was known and appreciated by some of the most important pioneers of the avant-garde, including artists Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Marc Chagall and Alberto Giacometti. Similarly interested by the modern Hellenistic culture as his friend and mentor Seferis, we can also detect elements of Ancient Greece and Byzantine culture in his work. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1979, perhaps chiefly because of his intensely personal style of writing; it is poetry that resonates with an absolute sincerity, even when speaking of the most rarefied of subject matter. A recurring theme is the metaphysics of the sun, or rather, the mystery of life, for he was a self-confessed ‘sun-worshipper’ or ‘idolator’. As Seferis’ poem Denial had been, his landmark work Worthy It Is became a great rallying anthem for all Greeks who resisted injustice, especially when set to music by Mikis Theodorakis. With an epic Biblical structure, it represents a fevered call to modern man for self-liberation and a hymn to the beauty of nature. Seferis’ works can be found translated into English in his Complete Poems, whilst Elytis’ Worthy It Is is published under its original name, The Axion Esti. It is perhaps time for us to recognise the importance of the role both of these writers brought to modern literature, in bringing the culture of Europe’s most ancient civilisation into the twentieth century, and fighting the epic battle against oppression and tyranny.
By Helena Cuss
http://www.theculturetrip.com

The Best Literature Inspired by the Greek Islands

The Greek Islands have been a source of literary inspiration from the ancient times. The unique beauty of the natural landscape , the warm Mediterranean climate and distinct local culture are some of the reasons behind this inspiration. But also this small country’s hardships in the face of political changes and terrifying historical challenges have captured the attention of foreign and local authors. Below we have listed five of the most famous novels which take place in the Greek Islands.

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Table by the Sea in Greece © George Pachantouris/Flickr

Zorba the Greek (1946)
Zorba the Greek is perhaps the most famous Greek book by talented Greek author Nikos Kazantzakis. The book tells the story of a young Greek intellectual, the narrator, who spends a year in a rural village in the greek island of Crete with Zorba, a simple worker whose character is an antithesis of his own. Zorba is a man full of life and talents, with strong natural instincts and folk wisdom. The narrator slowly, and while experiencing the predicaments of rural life in Crete, comes to realise how weak his intellectual superiority is to Zorbas’ simple understanding of life. The book touched millions of hearts when it was turned into a movie in 1964 starring Anthony Queen. For many the character of Zorba became a popular symbol of Greek soul.

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Watching the Twilight in Patmos © Yiannis Theologos Michellis/Flickr
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (1994)

Another book also turned into a movie is Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières. Set in the Greek island of Cephallonia during the German and Italian occupation of the Second World War, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin narrates the touching love story of Italian young captain Antonio Corelli and Pelagia, the daughter of the local Greek doctor. The romance that develops under adversary circumstances has to suffer the strikes of fate when Italy joins forces with the Allies and the Germans on the island turn on the Italians. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin is an emotionally charged story that works on different levels: It is a love story and war story and at the same time a historic account that reflects many of the bitter untold realities of the country’s wartime suffering.

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Scan1©TakaUmemura/Flickr
The Island (2005)

Victoria Hislop’s literary debut, the Island, begins with a woman travelling to the island of Crete in search of her mother’s past. She is surprised to find out that her mother’s native village of Plaka is near the island of Spinaloga, a former Greek leper colony. She will then learn from a family friend the tragic story of her mother’s family through three generations of tumultuous lives and passions. Victoria Hislop was awarded the 2007 British Book Award for the Island, and it also became a popular series for Greek television – To Nisi – and the most expensive television production ever in Greece.

The Two Faces of January (1964)
Patricia Highsmith’s 1964 psychological thriller narrates the story of an American con-artist Chester McFarland and his wife Colette, who find themselves in trouble in Greece when Chester accidentally kills a Greek policeman in his hotel room in Athens. A young American lawyer helps the couple to flee to Crete, where they settle in a hotel. But more trouble emerges there as the trio turn on each other and tragedy falls in the ancient site of Knossos. The story follows the classic Patricia Highsmith breathtaking storytelling pattern that moves the action to different locations: after Crete, back to Athens, and then to a whole new setting altogether in Paris. The Greek island becomes the “far away land” and offers an ideal setting for the emotions to rise and the action to culminate.

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Odysseus and the Sirens. An 1891 painting by John William Waterhouse © National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne/WikiCommons
Odyssey (8th Century BC)

The world-famous ancient epic poem by Greek poet Homer is perhaps the one that captures the imagination the most, as it draws on an ancient past of heroes and mythical creatures. Three thousand years have passed since Odysseus found Ithaca again, and visitors from around the world still visit the island in the search of archaeological findings of Penelope’s palace. The epic Odyssey of the Greek hero who wondered ten years in the ancient seas searching for his homeland, Ithaca , will never cease to amaze, excite and inspire.

http://www.theculturetrip.com/europe/greece

elyths

AXION ESTI — GENESIS

In the beginning the light And the first hour
when the lips still inside the clay
taste the things of the world
Green blood and golden bulbs in the earth
And most beautiful in its sleep the sea unfolded
ethereal unbleached gauzes
under the carob tree and the tall standing palm trees
There alone
crying grievously
I faced the world

My soul was searching for a Beacon and a Herald

ΑΞΙΟΝ ΕΣΤΙ – Η ΓΕΝΕΣΙΣ

Στην αρχή το φως. Και η ώρα η πρώτη
που τα χείλη ακόμη στον πηλό
δοκιμάζουν τα πράγματα του κόσμου
Αίμα πράσινο και βολβοί στη γη χρυσοί
Πανωραία στον ύπνο της άπλωσε και η θάλασσα
γάζες αιθέρος τις αλεύκαντες
κάτω απ’ τις χαρουπιές και τους μεγάλους όρθιους φοίνικες
Εκεί μόνος αντίκρυσα
τον κόσμο
κλαίγοντας γοερά

Η ψυχή μου ζητούσε Σηματωρό και Κήρυκα
~ Odysseus Elytis, AXION ESTI, translated by Manolis Aligizakis