“But then she [Gaia] did couple with Ouranos
to bear deep-eddying Okeanos,
Koios and Kreios, Hyperion and Iapetos,
Theia and Rheia, Themis and Mnemosyne,
as well as gold-wreathed Phoebe and lovely Tethys.”
(Hesiod, Theogony, 132-136)

“Hölderlin is one of our greatest, that is, most impending thinkers,” wrote Heidegger, “because he is our greatest poet. The poetic understanding of his poetry is possible only as a philosophical confrontation with the manifestation of being in his work.”

Today I continue with my quest to discover and present the “real” Greece. I strive to unearth the riches of Greece and Hellenism and based on this to determine what constitutes Greece and the Hellenism! It is a circle pointing to itself, and in order for it not to become a vicious circle, I have to break into it!

(η αποπειρα μου ειναι περισσοτερο να αναδειξω τον πλουτο που ενυπαρχει στην ελλαδα, στον ελληνισμο, και με βαση αυτην την αποπειρα να προσδιορισω και το τι ειναι η ελλαδα και ο ελληνισμος! ειναι μια κυκλοειδης διαδικασια, ειναι μια διαδικασια που για να μη γινει “φαυλος κυκλος” θα πρεπει να εισχωρησουμε στον κυκλο!)

I have chosen Hoelderlin’s Hyperion, as it is the perfect ground where poetry and philosophy cross each other, and because it opens the door to some very interesting considerations regarding the path of life. This topic in my view exemplifies what are some of the elements that constitute the “real” Greece. By necessity, I have used long quotes to get the basics of the story across, and then to convey some thinkers’ views and interpretations.  The reader who endures the difficult read will be rewarded.

“The novel Hyperion presents different practical approaches to dealing with the bi-polarity of the “eccentric path.” This novel is a collection of letters, mostly written by the novel’s modern Greek hero, Hyperion, to his German friend, Bellarmin, in which he recounts his adventures, states of mind, and longings. The original unity which Hyperion was, from the outset, keen to recapture, is understood in different ways by Hyperion at different stages of his life. Ultimately, he will realize that none of these is satisfactory, but that they represented ways of approaching that which is the underlying unity, i.e. Being, throughout the course of his life.

These different representations of unity are of ancient Greece (also reflected in childhood), of modern Greece liberated from Turkish rule, and of aesthetic beauty. This trilogy is not random but corresponds to different temporal understandings of the idea of the fundamental unity of Being. It is first grasped as belonging to the past (Childhood/Ancient Greece), then the future (liberated Greece), and finally the present (immediacy of aesthetic beauty). Each way of life is exemplified by a character with whom Hyperion is connected, respectively through a master-pupil relationship (Adamas), friendship (Alabanda) and love (Diotima).

Symposium, Tomb of the Diver, Paestum

In each case, Hyperion attempts to fully adopt the corresponding way of being only to find its limitations and be confronted with the need to move on. Thus, with Adamas, Hyperion feels compelled to leave his master and seek another way of life because of man’s lack of contentment and constant desire to go beyond his current condition: “We delight in flinging ourselves into the night of the unknown, into the cold strangeness of any other world, and, if we could, we would leave the realm of the sun and rush headlong beyond the comet’s track” (Hölderlin, 1990, p. 10) [“Wir haben unsre Lust daran, uns in die Nacht des Unbekannten, in die kalte Fremde irgend einer andern Welt zu stürzen, und wär’ es möglich, wir verlieβen der Sonne Gebiet und stürmten über des Irrsterns Grenzen hinaus” (Hölderlin, 1999, p.492)]. After leaving home and learning about the world, his encounter with Alabanda is that of a soul-mate who has fought his way to freedom. Together, they plan noble and heroic deeds, but Hyperion’s world crumbles when he realizes the dark side of such purported moral ambition. Alabanda’s friends are ruthless revolutionaries who seek to overthrow the present powers by violent means: “The cold sword is forged from hot metal” (ibid., p.26) [“Aus heiβem Metalle wird das kalte Schwert geschmieden” (ibid., p. 510)]. Through this experience, Hyperion grasps something of the conflictual nature of human life: “If the life of the world consists in an alteration between opening and closing, between going forth and returning, why is it not even so with the heart of man” (ibid., p.29) [“Bestehet ja das Leben der Welt im Wechsel des Entfaltens und Vershlieβens, in Ausflug und in Rückkehr zu sich selbst, warum nicht auch das Herz des Menschen” (ibid., p.514)]? However, it is by encountering beauty in the person and life of Diotima (Book II of Volume I) that Hyperion believes he has found what he is looking for, i.e. the Unity he is after: “I have seen it once, the one thing that my soul sought, and the perfection that we put somewhere far away above the stars, that we put off until the end of time – I have felt it in its living presence” (ibid., p.41) [“Ich habe es Einmal gesehen, das Einzige, das meine Seele suchte, und die Vollendung die wir über die Sterne hinauf entfernen, die wir hinausscheben bis ans Ende der Zeit, die hab’ ich gegenwärtig gefühlt” (ibid., p.529)]. A period of bliss ensues, but Diotima understands that Hyperion is “born for higher things” (ibid., p.72) [“zu höhern Dingen geboren” (ibid., p.566)], that the simple harmony of her life is not for him. He must go out and bring beauty to those places where it is lacking. Having grasped this (Book I of Volume II), Hyperion answers Alabanda’s call to join him in battle to free Greece.

Hyperion’s departure for battle is followed by several letters addressed to Diotima and a couple of her replies. After initial success in the fight against the Turks, Hyperion’s men are delayed by the long siege of Mistra. Nonetheless, as they finally enter the town, they go on a]rampage, pillaging and killing indiscriminately. Rather than face the enemy, Hyperion’s army disperses once its lust for plunder is satisfied. This leads to the death of forty Russian soldiers who stood alone fighting the common foe. Hyperion takes his army’s dishonour to make him unworthy, in his eyes, for Diotima’s love: “I must advise you to give me up, my Diotima” (ibid., p.98) [“ich muβ dir raten, daβ du mich verlässest, meine Diotima” (ibid., p.597)]. In letters to Bellarmin, we discover more details of the battles fought by Hyperion and Alabanda. Their friendship flourished again, but Alabanda’s lust for battle eventually came to an end, thus pointing once more to the limits of his way of life.

In a letter from Diotima that arrives later, it emerges that she lost her will to live as her lover did not return, and she finally let herself die. In a development which reflects Hölderlin’s understanding of human life, the effortless harmony of Diotima’s world of beauty, once disturbed by the fire of Hyperion’s free aspiration to noble deeds, could not simply return to its original form. Rather, it became something to aim for, something Diotima thought Hyperion could achieve for her: “You drew my life away from the Earth, but you would also have had power to bind me to the Earth” (ibid., p.122) [“Du entzogst main Leben der Erde, du hättest auch Macht gehabt, mich an die Erde zu fesseln” (ibid., p.626)]. It is, thus, through its very destruction, that Diotima’s way of life ceases to represent that which Hyperion could have sought to take refuge in. Diotima’s words illustrate the whole problem of life as an “eccentric path,” but her death, apparently, only leaves Hyperion confused: “as I am now, I have no names for things and all before me is uncertainty” (ibid., p.126) [“wie ich jetzt bin, hab ich keinen Namen für die Dinge, und es ist mir alles ungewiβ” (ibid., p.632)]. At the end of the novel, however, the beauty of Nature once again fills Hyperion with joy, and this poetic sense of oneness reaches beyond separation and death to Alabanda and Diotima. Somehow, he has made some sense of his experiences. Thus, after all these tragedies, an overall feeling of unity prevails: “You springs of earth! you flowers! and you woods and you eagles and you brotherly light! how old and new is our love!- We are free, we are not narrowly alike in outward semblance; how should the Mode of life not vary? yet we love the ether, all of us, and in the inmost of our inmost selves we are alike” (ibid., p.133) [“Ihr Quellen der Erd! Ihr Blumen! Und ihr Wälder und ihr Adler und du brüderliches Licht! Wie alt und neu ist unsere Liebe! – Frei sind wir, gleichen uns nicht ängstig von auβen; wie sollte nicht wechseln die Weise des Lebens? Wir lieben den Äther doch all und innigst im Innersten gleichen wir uns” (ibid., p.639-640)]. However, the last words of the novel suggest an open ending: “So I thought. More soon” (ibid., p.133) [“So dacht’ ich. Nächstens mehr” (ibid., p.640)]. Thus, after all the ordeals that he has worked through in these letters, Hyperion’s life goes on. This seems to point to new experiences and the possibility of revisiting his interpretation of his life thus far.”

(Source: Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

“…..The main work of this period is the novel
Hyperion oder Der Eremit in Griechenland (2
volumes, 1797-1799; translated as Hyperion; or, The
Hermit in Greece, 1965). Hölderlin had begun the
novel during his student days in Tübingen and
had revised it continually during his stays in
Waltershausen and Jena. In 1794 a preliminary
version was published under the title “Fragment
von Hyperion” (Fragment of Hyperion) in Friedrich
Schiller’s literary journal Neue Thalia. This version
of the novel is cast in the form of letters from
Hyperion, a young late-eighteenth-century Greek,
to his German friend Bellarmin. The letters depict
his constant struggle to attain the moment of
transcendent experience in which all conflict is
resolved and temporality is suspended: “Was mir
nicht Alles, und ewig Alles ist, ist mir Nichts”
(What for me is not All, and eternally All, is
nothing). In nature, in love, in a visit to Homeric
sites, Hyperion experiences momentary
intimations of his ideal, which constantly eludes
him, so that his aspirations remain unfulfilled.
The image of the “exzentrische Bahn” (eccentric
path), which constantly diverges from the center
of Being that it always seeks but can never
permanently attain, becomes a symbol of the
course of human existence.


In Jena Hölderlin had revised this version, partly
in order to take account of his attempt to come to
terms with the philosophy of Fichte. In a metrical
version and a fragment entitled “Hyperions
Jugend” (Hyperion’s Youth), he abandoned the
epistolary format in favor of a retrospective
technique in which the older Hyperion looks back
on his youth. The narrator, relating his story to a
young visitor, acknowledges that the process of
reflection has made him “tyrannisch gegen die
Natur” (tyrannical toward nature), in that he has
reduced nature to the material of selfconsciousness.
This theme echoes Hölderlin’s
criticism of Fichte’s philosophy and its
preoccupation with the autonomy of the “absolute
ego.” Hölderlin’s new orientation finds expression
in the Platonic view of love as the longing of the
imperfect for the ideal, and in a new conception of
beauty, which emerges as the only form in which
the unity of Being, unattainable precisely because
it is the object of striving, is incarnated: “jenes
Sein, im einzigen Sinne des Worts … ist
vorhanden–als Schönheit” (Being, in the unique
sense of the word … is present-as Beauty). With
this subordination of self-consciousness to the
realization of beauty, Hölderlin establishes the
conceptual framework that he follows in
completing the novel.
The final version of the novel, the greater part of
which was completed during the period he was in
Frankfurt am Main, shows Hölderlin’s increasing
stylistic and formal mastery. He returns to the
epistolary form of the first version, but now
endows it with a particularly sophisticated
structure. Hyperion presents a retrospective view
of his life, beginning at the stage at which, after
having lost his beloved and his friends, he returns
bitterly disappointed to his native land, intending
to take up the life of a hermit. The main focus is
not the sequence of events but the act of narration
itself. The seemingly disconnected fragments of
his experience are integrated through the process
of reflective recapitulation and gradually assume
a dialectical structure in which union and
separation, joy and suffering come to be seen as
inseparable parts of a complex unity.



The principle of “das Eine in sich
unterschiedne” (the one that is differentiated
within itself), which Hölderlin adapted from a
formulation of Heraclitus, defines at once the
essence of the Athenian and the nature of beauty–as opposed to the one-sidedness and
fragmentation characteristic of the Egyptians and
the Spartans, and, in Hölderlin’s view, also of
modern times.”

Source: Hoelderlin, Duke University


“Like Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Schiller, his older contemporaries, Hölderlin was a fervent admirer of ancient Greek culture, but had a very personal understanding of it. Much later, Friedrich Nietzsche and his followers would recognize in him the poet who first acknowledged the orphic and dionysiac Greece of the mysteries, which he would fuse with the Pietism of his native Swabia in a highly original religious experience. For Hölderlin, the Greek gods were not the plaster figures of conventional classicism, but living, actual presences, wonderfully life-giving and, at the same time, terrifying. He understood and sympathized with the Greek idea of the tragic fall, which he expressed movingly in the last stanza of his Hyperions Schicksalslied “Hyperion’s Song of Destiny”. (Source:  icompositions).

Hyperion’s Song of Destiny
by Fr. Hölderlin

Holy spirits, you walk up there
in the light, on soft earth.
Shining god-like breezes
touch upon you gently,
as a woman’s fingers
play music on holy strings.

Like sleeping infants the gods
breathe without any plan;
the spirit flourishes continually
in them, chastely kept,
as in a small bud,
and their holy eyes
look out in still
eternal clearness.

A place to rest
isn’t given to us.
Suffering humans
decline and blindly fall
from one hour to the next,
like water thrown
from cliff to cliff,
year after year,
down into the Unknown

We have no footing anywhere,
No rest, we topple,
Fall and suffer
Blindly from hour
To hour

like water
Pitched from fall
To fall, year in,
Year out, headlong,
Downward for years to the vague abyss

“Philosophy then, is not born out of the nostalgia for an absent unity, nor out of the exile from the All, but out of an accord with that which is in the difference of its multiplicity. For what is thus achieved is a concept of beauty different from that of Platonism and from that of the classicism of Goethe and Winckelmann: no longer the becoming-visible of the idea, but the harmony of opposites, no longer the static concept of an atemporal beauty, but the dynamic one of a living beauty that Plato himself, citing Heraclitus, has not perhaps ignored, as Hoelderlin implies in the preface to Hyperion, when he exclaims, after having alluded to the already realised presence of being as beauty:


I think that in the end we will all cry out: saint Plato, forgive us! We have gravely sinned against you!
For it is on the basis of such a sensible presence of beauty and of the effective presence of the union of the infinite with the finite that Greece is defined in Hyperion as the homeland of philosophy, in opposition to Egypt and the North:
Do you see now why the Athenians in particular could not but be a philosophical people too? Not so the Egyptian. He who does not live loving Heaven and earth and loved by them in equal measure, he who does not live at one in this sense with the element in which he has his being, is by his very nature not so as one with himself as a Greek, at least he does not expewrience eternal Beauty as easily as a Greek does.
It is, in fact, only Greece that is capable of this harmony with the sensible and with exteriority which procures it the harmony with the intelligible and interiority: neither the Oriental (the Egyptian), subject to an exteriority which appears like a “terrible enigma”, nor the Nordic (the German), enclosed in an interiority without an outside, are capable of such a harmony and can be open to a beauty at the same time “human and divine”. Must Greece, then, be resurrected?” (Source: Francoise Dastur: Hoelderlin and the Orientalisation of Greece)

“Oh! were there a banner … a Thermopylae upon which I could spill my blood with honour, all that solitary love for which I can have no use.”

“Hölderlin’s glory is that he is the poet of Hellenism. Everyone who reads his work senses that his Hellenism is different, more sombre, more tortured by suffering than the radiant Utopia of antiquity envisaged during the Renaissance and Enlightenment. But his vision of Hellas has nothing in common either with the tedious, trivial, academic classicism of the nineteenth century or with the hysterical bestiality with which Nietzsche and the imperialist period envisaged Greece. The key to Hölderlin’s view lies then in the understanding of the specifics of this conception of Hellenism.”

Georg Lukacs, Goethe and His Age, 1934

Greek Folk Songs of Love – Διστιχα της Αγαπης

Παρασκευή, 1 Ιανουαρίου, 2010

Μια και το πιο σπουδαιο, το πιο υπεροχο, το πιο δυσκολο στη ζωη ειναι η Αγαπη, ξεκινω το 2010 με διστιχα της Αγαπης, απο τη Συλλογη Ελληνικων Δημοτικων Τραγουδιων του Φοριελ (Πανεπιστημιακες Εκδοσεις Κρητης 1999). Καλη Χρονια και με Αγαπη!

Ω, Παναγια μου Δεσποινα, βαρια που ειν’η αγαπη!

Μηδε ο τοπος με χωρει, μηδ’ ολο το σοκακι.

Για μαυρα ματια χανομαι, για μπιρμπιλια πεθαινω,

γι’ αυτα τα καταγαλανα σκαπτω την γην και μπαινω.

Τις ειδεν ψαρι στο βουνον, την θαλασααν σπαρμενην;

Τις ειδεν εις τετοιον καιρον αγαπη εμπιστευμενην;

Τι αδικια εις εμε, ματακια μου και φως μου

ολοι αγαπουνε την ζωην, κι εγω τον θανατον μου.

Μαυρα μαλλια στην κεφαλη, στες πλατες ξαπλωμενα,

αγγελοι τα κτενιζουνε, με διαμαντενια κτενια.

Να χαμηλωναν τα βουνα, να’ βλεπα το Μισιρι,

να’ βλεπα το πουλακι μου, με ποιονα τρωει και πινει.

Ας ητο τροπος ματια μου το χερι σου να κρατουν,

κι ευθυς ας με περεχυνε ο ιδρως του θανατου.

Απο τα γλυκα σου ματια, τρεχει αθανατο νερο,

και σε γυρεψα λιγακι, και δεν μοδωσες να πιω.

Μια ψυχη χωρις το σωμα, πια να ζησει δεν μπορει,

και πως εζησα ως τωρα, το θαυμαζω κι απορω.

Τηρα με πως εγινηκα, μαυρος σαν τον αραπη,

δεν ειμ’ απο την Αραπια, μον’ ειμ’ απ’ την αγαπη.

Χριστουγεννα 2009

Πέμπτη, 24 Δεκεμβρίου, 2009

Ρόδο, ω καθαρή αντινομία, απόλαυση/

του κανενός ο ύπνος να ΄σαι κάτω από τόσα/ βλέφαρα

Ραινερ Μαρια Ριλκε

Πέταλα πέφτουν στην πηγή

πορτοκαλιά φύλλα από ρόδα,

Και η ώχρα τους κολλάει πάνω στην πέτρα.

Εζρα Παουντ

Ενα Τίποτα

ήμαστε, είμαστε, για πάντα

θα μείνουμε, που ανθίζει:

του Τίποτα, του

Κανενός το ρόδο

Paul Celan: Niemandsrose (του Κανενος το Ροδο)

Ρόδο της μοίρας, γύρευες να βρεις να μας πληγώσεις…».

Γιωργος Σεφερης

της αγαπης αιματα με πορφυρωσαν

και χαρες ανειδωτες με σκιασανε

οξειδωθηκα μες στη νοτια των ανθρωπων

μακρινη Μητερα Ροδο μου Αμαραντο

Οδυσσεας Ελυτης: “Αξιον Εστι”

Εκείνη τι να κάνει τώρα,

αυτή τη στιγμή, τώρα, τώρα;

Είναι στο σπίτι, στο δρόμο,

δουλεύει, ξάπλωσε , είναι στο πόδι;

Μπορεί να σήκωσε το χέρι,

-αχ, ρόδο μου,

πώς γυμνώνει αυτή η κίνηση τον λευκό, γερό καρπό του χεριού της!-

Ναζιμ Χικμετ

Δε σ’ αγαπώ σαν να ‘σουν ρόδο αλατιού, τοπάζι,

σαίτα από γαρούφαλα που τη φωτιά πληθαίνουν:

σ’ αγαπώ ως αγαπιούνται κάποια πράγματα σκούρα,

μυστικά, μέσ’ από την ψυχή και τον ίσκιο.

Παμπλο Νερουδα

Giuseppe Ungaretti – Poet

Σάββατο, 12 Δεκεμβρίου, 2009

Giuseppe Ungaretti is one of the giants of modern Italian poetry. He is the second modern Italian poet I present in this blog, the first having been Salvatore Cuasimodo. Ungaretti is brief, his language condensed to the absolute minimum. I was introduced to him by a very good friend who has since then “distanced” herself, but the memory and the intensity remains to date. This post is dedicated to her, with the full appreciation of the fact that she has been “lost” to me, but remains in the sweet cabinets of my memory.

Lets read Ungaretti’s “morning”.




I flood myself with the light

of the immense

Can  language be more condensed than that?

Ungaretti was born in 1888 in Alexandria, Egypt. His parents were Italians from the Tuscan city of Lucca. His father, a worker in the Suez canal, died when Giuseppe was 2. His mother ran a bakery in the city limits, bordering with the desert.

Variations on Nothing

That negligible bit of sand which slides
Without a sound and settles in the hourglass,
And the fleeting impressions on the fleshy-pink,
The perishable fleshy-pink, of a cloud…

Then a hand that turns over the hourglass,
The going back for flowing back, of sand,
The quiet silvering of a cloud
In the first few lead-gray seconds of dawn…

The hand in shadow turned the hourglass,
And the negligible bit of sand which slides
And is silent, is the only thing now heard,
And, being heard, doesn’t vanish in the dark.

Ungaretti went to Paris when he was 24 and started working as a journalist.

He served in the Italian army in the first world war and that’s when he discovered his poetic talent.  With Montale and Cuasimodo, he is considered the founder of the School of Ermetismo, or Hermeticism.

From left to right: Montale, Cuasimodo, Ungaretti

Like many other great men, Ungaretti was friendly to fascism and Musssolini. Heidegger comes in mind, Ezra Pound… I will never come to terms with this. One comforting explanation may be relevant to their distance from the “real” life of society. Men of the Mind, who are Men of a different world!

Hymn to Death

Love, my young emblem,

Returned to brighten the earth,

Diffused between the rocky day,

It is the last time that I gaze

(By the foot of the ditch, glorious

With gushing water, dark

With caves) at the path of light

Which like the moaning turtle dove

Moves heedless across the grass.

Love, shining health,

The coming years weigh heavy upon me.

Casting aside the faithful walking stick,

I will slip into the dark water

Without regret.

Death, arid river

Forgetful sister, death,

You will be like a dream

As you kiss me.

I will have your footstep,

I will walk without leaving a footprint.

You will give me the motionless heart

Of a God, I will be innocent,

I will no longer have thoughts nor kindness.

With my mind walled up,

With my eyes fallen into oblivion,

I will act as a guide for happiness.


And now the man himself, reciting his poem.

In this dialog with Death, I find myself in dialogue with my “friend”.

A lost love is in the memory the personification of death.

“You will give me the motionless heart”

I still hold the motionless heart in my hands.

And Christmas does not help, as it widens the gasping wounds.

The feeling of all the opportunities lost is a feeling that can destroy. It is the feeling of emptiness. The feeling of the ultimate GAP that invites you to jump.

May be happiness is a Utopian endeavor.

“With my mind walled up,

With my eyes fallen into oblivion,…”

Nobody could have said it better. I am immersed in oblivion.

And what comes next?

“The hand in shadow turned the hourglass,….”

The sense of the ticking clock.

The sense of the invisible hand.

The sense of the warmth of the body that became a memory burried in the sand of the clock.

“The perishable fleshy-pink, of a cloud…”

Her flesh is a cloud.

Unforgettable cloud. That I see every morning.

The art of being through emptiness.

“I will slip into the dark water

Without regret….”

There is no regret, only emptiness.

Which is worse.

Silence is the only thing heard.

And the hand turns the hourglass yet again…

Μιλτος Σαχτουρης, Ποιητης

Πέμπτη, 8 Οκτωβρίου, 2009

Franz Marc - The Dream

Franz Marc - The Dream


Άλογα περήφανα
οι επιθυμίες μου
γονάτισαν κάθισαν χάμω
η πόλη όλη βάφτηκε στο σκοτάδι
μόνο τρεις άνθρωποι περπάτησαν
ο ένας πήγε να βρει το Θεό
ο άλλος πήγε να βρει το Διάβολο
και ο τρίτος πήγε να βρει το Κενό.

(από τη συλλογή Έκτοτε)


“Το κεφάλι του ποιητή”

Έκοψα το κεφάλι μου
τόβαλα σ’ ένα πιάτο
και το πήγα στο γιατρό μου.

-Δεν έχει τίποτε, μου είπε,
είναι απλώς πυρακτωμένο
ρίξε το μέσα στο ποτάμι και θα ιδούμε

τό’ριξα στο ποτάμι μαζί με τους βατράχους
τότε είναι που χάλασε τον κόσμο
άρχισε κάτι παράξενα τραγούδια
να τρίζει φοβερά και να ουρλιάζει

το πήρα και το φόρεσα πάλι στο λαιμό μου

γύριζα έξαλλος στους δρόμους

με πράσινο εξαγωνομετρικό κεφάλι ποιητή.

(από τη συλλογή Το Σκεύος)

Γιαννης Τσαρουχης - Ναυτης

Γιαννης Τσαρουχης - Ναυτης

Ο Βυθός

Ένας ναύτης ψηλά

στα κάτασπρα ντυμένος

τρέχει μες στο φεγγάρι

Κι η κοπέλα απ’ τη γης

με τα κόκκινα μάτια

λέει ένα τραγούδι

που δε φτάνει ως το ναύτη

Φτάνει ως το λιμάνι

φτάνει ως το καράβι

φτάνει ως τα κατάρτια

Μα δε φτάνει ψηλά στο φεγγάρι

Amedeo Modigliani: Reclining Nude

Amedeo Modigliani: Reclining Nude

Η Νοσταλγία Γυρίζει

Η γυναίκα γδύθηκε και ξάπλωσε στο κρεβάτι

ένα φιλί ανοιγόκλεινε πάνω στο πάτωμα

οι άγριες μορφές με τα μαχαίρια αρχίσαν

να ξεπροβάλλουν στο ταβάνι

στον τοίχο κρεμασμένο ένα πουλί πνίγηκε

κι έσβησε

ένα κερί έγειρε κι έπεσε απ’ το καντηλέρι

έξω ακούγονταν κλάματα και ποδοβολητά

‘Ανοιξαν τα παράθυρα μπήκε ένα χέρι

έπειτα μπήκε το φεγγάρι

αγκάλιασε τη γυναίκα και κοιμήθηκαν μαζί

Όλο το βράδυ ακουγόταν μιά φωνή:

Οι μέρες περνούν

το χιόνι μένει

ΥΓ. Αφιερωμενο εξαιρετικα στις δυο ποιητριες του ατελιε, την Γιαννα, και την Ορφια.

My new car

Τετάρτη, 29 Ιουλίου, 2009

Just to relax and have a quick spin.

The 458 Italia is the new glorious creation of Ferrari!

24437_normalAny way you look at it, makes you say: Bravi!!!! to the people who have designed and produced it.

24438_normalI leave you now, I go for this quick … I was telling you about!


P.S. the photos are credited to Giorgio Benvenuti, and their use in this blog is personal and not commercial. Grazzie Giorgio for the beautiful photos!

Beseech you Gongyla – Κελομαι σε Γογγυλα

Σάββατο, 14 Φεβρουαρίου, 2009

Paul Binnie, Sleeping Woman (Nemuru onna)

Paul Binnie, Sleeping Woman (Nemuru onna)

 Σαπφω: Κελομαι σε Γογγυλα

Κέλομαί σε Γογγύλα
Πέφανθι λάβοϊσά μα
Γλακτίν αν σε δηύτε πόθος
ταν καλάν α γαρ κατάγωγις αυτά
απτόαισ’ ιδοϊσαν, εγώ δε χαίρω,
και γαρ αύτα δη τόδε μέμφεταί σοι

Αποδοση Οδυσσεα Ελυτη

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.

Sappho and Alkaios, Kalathos from Akragas, Sicily, 470BC

Sappho and Alkaios, Kalathos from Akragas, Sicily, 470BC

Μελοποιηση Μανου Χατζηδακι

.. 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 Κυπρογένητη (Αφροδίτη) που σε μαλώνει.

Η αποδοση της Φλερυς Νταντωνακη

 Η μοναδικη φωνη της Φλερυς Νταντωνακη αποδιδει τη μελοποιηση του Μανου Χατζηδακι στο κλιπ που ακολουθει.

Σημειωση: Ο  Paul Binnie γεννηθηκε στη Σκωτια και εζησε πολλα χρονια στην Ιαπωνια. Σημερα ζει και δουλευει στην Αγγλια.


1. κελομαι: καλω, φωναζω

Richard Wagner – Mathilde Wesendonck

Κυριακή, 30 Νοεμβρίου, 2008

Συνεχιζω σημερα στο μονοπατι  των ερωτων και των μουσων.  Μετα τον Ευγενιο Ονεγκιν και την Τατιανα,  τον Λεος Γιανατσεκ και την Καμιλα Στοσλοβα,  ηρθε η σειρα του Ριχαρδου Βαγκνερ και της  Ματθιλδης Βεζεντονκ.

Ριχαρντ Βαγκνερ - Πορτραιτο απο τον Ρενουαρ

Ριχαρντ Βαγκνερ - Πορτραιτο απο τον Ρενουαρ

Ο Ριχαρδος Βαγκνερ απο το 1849 ηταν προσφυγας, εχοντας εγκαταλειψει τη Λειψια, και καταδιωκομενος για τις πολιτικες του αντιληψεις.

Το 1851 βρηκε καταλυμα στη Ζυριχη, στο σπιτι του εμπορου Οτο Βεζεντονκ, που τον γνωρισε σε μια συναυλια με εργα του. Μαζι με τον Βεζεντονκ, γνωρισε και τη γυναικα του Ματθιλδη.

Οι Βεζεντονκ ηταν πατρονες των τεχνων και της μουσικης. Στο σπιτι τους στη Ζυριχη δεχοντουσαν τον Φρανς Λιστ, οπως κα τους Χανς και Κοζιμα φον Μπυλοου.

Οτο και Ματθιλδη Βεζεντονκ

Οτο και Ματθιλδη Βεζεντονκ

Ο ευκαταστατος εμπορος μεταξης διεθεσε στον Βαγκνερ και τη γυναικα του Μινα ενα ξυλινο σπιτι στον κηπο της βιλλας του, που ο Βαγκνερ ονομασε το “Ασυλο στον Πρασινο Λοφο”. Εκει αναπτυχθηκε το παραφορο παθος του Συνθετη προς την Ματθιλδη.

Την παραμονη Πρωτοχρονιας του 1857 ο Συνθετης παραδιδει το λιμπρεττο του “Τριστανος και Ιζολδη” στην αγαπημενη του, με αφιερωση: “Πληρης χαρας, χωρις ιχνος απο πονο, αγνος και ελευθερος, για παντα μαζι σου”.

Οπως συνηθιζεται, η γυναικα του Βαγκνερ παρελαβε κατα λαθος ενα ερωτικο σημειωμα προς την Ματθιλδη και ανοιξαν οι πυλες της Κολασεως. Λιγο αργοτερα, τον Αυγουστο 1858 ο Βαγκνερ αναχωρει εσπευσμενα απο τον Πρασινο Λοφο, με κατευθυνση τη Βενετια. Χωριζει την Μινα, και χανεται απο τον κοσμο της Ματθιλδης. Σε επιστολη του στην Ελιζα Βιλλε το 1863 ο Βαγκνερ ομολογει οτι η Ματθιλδη ηταν ο πρωτος και μοναδικος του ερωτας.

Οι Βεζεντονκ το 1871 πουλανε την βιλλα και επιστρφουν στη Γερμανια.

Η Βιλλα στονΠρασινο Λοφο

Η Βιλλα στον Πρασινο Λοφο

 Απο το 1952 η Βιλλα ειναι το Μουσειο Ριτμπεργκ στην πολη της Ζυριχης. Το “Ασυλο” του Βαγκνερ ειναι σημερα η Βιλλα Σονμπεργκ.

Το ερωτικο παθος του Βαγκνερ τον οδηγησε στο να μελοποιησει πεντε ποιηματα της Ματθιλδης, τα “Τραγουδια Βεζεντονκ”.

Mathilde Wesendonck (1850) by Karl Ferdinand Sohn, in the StadtMuseum Bonn

Mathilde Wesendonck (1850) by Karl Ferdinand Sohn, in the StadtMuseum Bonn

Η Ματθιλδη εκτος απο ποιηματα, εγραψε βιβλια και εκανε μεταφρασεις.

Παραθετω στη συνεχεια στα αγγλικα δυο απο αυτα, σε ανεπαναληπτες ερμηνειες απο δυο Μεγαλες Κυριες του Ρεπερτοριου.

Im Treibhaus (In the Hothouse)

High-vaulted crowns of leaves, Canopies of emerald,

You children of distant zones, Tell me, why do you lament?

Silently you bend your branches, Draw signs in the air,

And the mute witness to your anguish – A sweet fragrance – rises.

In desirous longing, wide You open your arms,

And embrace through insane predilection

The desolate, empty, horrible void.

I know well, poor plants, A fate that we share,

Though we bathe in light and radiance,

Our homeland is not here!

And how gladly the sun departs

From the empty gleam of the day,

He veils himself, he who suffers truly,

In the darkness of silence.

It becomes quiet, a whispered stirring

Fills uneasily the dark room:

Heavy drops I see hovering On the green edge of the leaves.

Ακολουθει παραπομπη στο YouTube οπου η περιφημη Γερμανιδα σοπρανο Waltraut Meier αποδιδει το τραγουδι “Im Treibhaus”.

Οπως αναφερει ο Ιωαννης Φουλιας “Η μουσική του τραγουδιού Στο θερμοκήπιο (Im Treibhaus) υπήρξε μια μελέτη για τον Τριστάνο που βρήκε εφαρμογή στην εισαγωγή της τρίτης πράξεως του δράματος, με αντίστοιχο και στις δύο περιπτώσεις εξωμουσικό περιεχόμενο, δηλαδή την έκφραση του αισθήματος της μοναξιάς και της απουσίας του ιδανικού “περιγύρου”. “



Tell me, what kind of wondrous dreams are embracing my senses,

that have not, like sea-foam, vanished into desolate Nothingness?

Dreams, that with each passing hour, each passing day, bloom fairer,

and with their heavenly tidings roam blissfully through my heart!

Dreams which, like holy rays of light sink into the soul,

there to paint an eternal image: forgiving all, thinking of only One.

Dreams which, when the Spring sun kisses the blossoms from the snow,

so that into unsuspected bliss they greet the new day, so that they grow,

so that they bloom, and dreaming, bestow their fragrance,

these dreams gently glow and fade on your breast, and then sink into the grave.

    Translation from German to English copyright © byEmily Ezust 
    (emily (AT) lieder (DOT) net)

Παραθετω απο το YouTube την εκτελεση του τραγουδιου απο την Αμερικανιδα Σοπρανο Jessye Norman. Μεθεξη!


“…in the deep stillness of the night,
bathed in the moon’s inspiring light.”
“Another!… No, another never
in all the world could take my heart!”
“But who are you:
the guardian angel of tradition,
or some vile agent of perdition
sent to seduce? Resolve my doubt.”
Το Μνημειο του Πουσκιν στη Μοσχα

Το Μνημειο του Πουσκιν στη Μοσχα

Το εμμετρο μυθιστορημα του Αλεξαντερ Πουσκιν “Ευγενιος Ονεγκιν (ΕΟ)” αποτελει ισως το πιο γνωστο και σημαντικο εργο του.  Ο μεγας Ρωσο-Αμερικανος συγγραφεας Vladimir Nabokov ισχυριζεται οτι ο Πουσκιν ειναι ο Σαιξπηρ της Ρωσιας και ο ΕΟ ειναι ο Αμλετ του.

Ο Ναμποκοφ εχει μεταφρασει τον ΕΟ και μαλιστα αυτη η μεταφραση θεωρειται μαζι με τη Λολιτα το αριστουργημα του συγγραφεα!

Επειδη δεν εχω την μεταφραση του Ναμποκοφ, θα δανειστω απο την μεταφραση του Charles Johnston στα Αγγλικα (βλεπε υποσημειωση στο τελος), για να παρουσιασω αποσπασματα σχετικα με την πρωτη μεγαλη ενοτητα του εργου, που δομειται γυρω απο το γραμμα που στελνει η ερωτευμενη Τατιανα στον Ευγενιο.   Επιφυλασσομαι για παρουσιαση και της μεταφρασης του Ναμποκοφ εν ευθετω χρονω.

Για να ειναι πιο ευκολη η αναγνωση υπενθυμιζω την υποθεση του εργου.

Η Τατιανα, κορη της επαρχιας,  ερωτευεται τον Ευγενιο Ονεγκιν, φιλο του αρραβωνιαστικου της αδελφης της Ολγας, Λενσκι,  και του απευθυνει επιστολη στην οποια ο Ευγενιος παραμενει αδιαφορος, αναφεροντας οτι δεν μπορει να δεσμευθει.

Ο αμοραλισμος του Ευγενιου τον οδηγει σε μονομαχια με τον φιλο του Λενσκι, στην οποια ο Ευγενιος σκοτωνει τον φιλο του.

Απο την παρασταση της Μετροπολιταν Οπερας Νεας Υορκης, Φεβρουαριος 2007

Απο την παρασταση της Μετροπολιταν Οπερας Νεας Υορκης, Φεβρουαριος 2007

Ο Ευγενιος συναντα χρονια αργοτερα την Ταιτιανα σε μια δεξιωση στη Μοσχα, και συνειδητοποιει οτι ειναι τρελα ερωτευμενος μαζι της.Της απευθυνει επιστολες απανωτες, στις οποιες η Τατιανα παραμενει αρνητικη. Ενω δεχεται οτι και αυτη τον αγαπα, τον διωχνει λεγοντας του οτι τωρα η θεση της ειναι διπλα τον αντρα της, και οτι το νεο ενδιαφερον του προς αυτην οφειλεται στην οικονομικη της ευμαρεια.

Ξεκινω με ενα προοιμιο, μια μικρη σκηνη αναμεσα στην Τατιανα και την υποκομο της, καθως συνειδητοποιει οτι ειναι ερωτευμενη και θελει να μεινει μονη για να απολαυσει και να υποφερει αυτη τη μοναδικη κατασταση.

Απο την παρασταση της κρατικης οπερας της Βαυαριας το Νοεμβριο 2007

Απο την παρασταση της κρατικης οπερας της Βαυαριας το Νοεμβριο 2007


“I am in love,” Tatyana’s wailing
whisper repeated to the crone.
“My dearest heart, you’re sick and ailing.”
“I am in love; leave me alone.”
And all the while the moon was shining
and with its feeble glow outlining
the girl’s pale charms, her loosened hair,
her drops of tears, and seated there,
in quilted coat, where rays were gleaming
on a small bench by Tanya’s bed,
the grey-haired nurse with kerchiefed head;
and everything around was dreaming,
in the deep stillness of the night,
bathed in the moon’s inspiring light.”

Ακολουθει το γραμμα στον Ευγενιο

Tatyana’s Letter to Onegin

“I write to you — no more confession
is needed, nothing’s left to tell.
I know it’s now in your discretion
with scorn to make my world a hell.

“But, if you’ve kept some faint impression
of pity for my wretched state,
you’ll never leave me to my fate.
At first I thought it out of season
to speak; believe me: of my shame
you’d not so much as know the name,
if I’d possessed the slightest reason
to hope that even once a week
I might have seen you, heard you speak
on visits to us, and in greeting
I might have said a word, and then
thought, day and night, and thought again
about one thing, till our next meeting.
But you’re not sociable, they say:
you find the country godforsaken;
though we… don’t shine in any way,
our joy in you is warmly taken.

“Why did you visit us, but why?
Lost in our backwoods habitation
I’d not have known you, therefore I
would have been spared this laceration.
In time, who knows, the agitation
of inexperience would have passed,
I would have found a friend, another,
and in the role of virtuous mother
and faithful wife I’d have been cast.

“Another!… No, another never
in all the world could take my heart!
Decreed in highest court for ever…
heaven’s will — for you I’m set apart;
and my whole life has been directed
and pledged to you, and firmly planned:
I know, Godsent one, I’m protected
until the grave by your strong hand:
you’d made appearance in my dreaming;
unseen, already you were dear,
my soul had heard your voice ring clear,
stirred at your gaze, so strange, so gleaming,
long, long ago… no, that could be
no dream. You’d scarce arrived, I reckoned
to know you, swooned, and in a second
all in a blaze, I said: it’s he!

“You know, it’s true, how I attended,
drank in your words when all was still –
helping the poor, or while I mended
with balm of prayer my torn and rended
spirit that anguish had made ill.
At this midnight of my condition,
was it not you, dear apparition,
who in the dark came flashing through
and, on my bed-head gently leaning,
with love and comfort in your meaning,
spoke words of hope? But who are you:
the guardian angel of tradition,
or some vile agent of perdition
sent to seduce? Resolve my doubt.
Oh, this could all be false and vain,
a sham that trustful souls work out;
fate could be something else again..,

“So let it be! for you to keep
I trust my fate to your direction,
henceforth in front of you I weep,
I weep, and pray for your protection..,
Imagine it: quite on my own
I’ve no one here who comprehends me,
and now a swooning mind attends me,
dumb I must perish, and alone.
My heart awaits you: you can turn it
to life and hope with just a glance –
or else disturb my mournful trance
with censure — I’ve done all to earn it!

“I close. I dread to read this page…
for shame and fear my wits are sliding…
and yet your honour is my gage
and in it boldly I’m confiding”…

…..But to the garden, to the scene
where Tanya now confronts Eugene.

Μετα απο ατελειωτη αναμονη, ο Ευγενιος επιστρεφει, συναντα την Τατιανα και αντικρουει τον ερωτα της….

Απο την παρασταση της Βασιλικης Οπερας του Κοβεν Γκαρντεν το Μαρτιο 2008

Απο την παρασταση της Βασιλικης Οπερας του Κοβεν Γκαρντεν το Μαρτιο 2008


”  “But I was simply not intended
for happiness — that alien role.
Should your perfections be expended
in vain on my unworthy soul?
Believe (as conscience is my warrant),
wedlock for us would be abhorrent.
I’d love you, but inside a day,
with custom, love would fade away;
your tears would flow — but your emotion,
your grief would fail to touch my heart,
they’d just enrage it with their dart.
What sort of roses, in your notion,
would Hymen bring us — blooms that might
last many a day, and many a night!


“What in the world is more distressing
than households where the wife must moan
the unworthy husband through depressing
daytimes and evenings passed alone?
and where the husband, recognizing
her worth (but anathematising
his destiny) without a smile
bursts with cold envy and with bile?
For such am I. When you were speaking
to me so simply, with the fires
and force that purity inspires,
is this the man that you were seeking?
can it be true you must await
from cruel fortune such a fate?”


This translation first published 1977
Published with minor  revisions and an Introduction in Penguin Classics

Copyright © Charles Johnston, 1977, 1979
Introduction copyright © John Bayley, 1979
All rights reserved

Και τωρα το καλυτερωτερο ολων! Η εξοχη Αμερικανιδα υψιφωνος Ρενε Φλεμινγκ τραγουδα την αρια του γραμματος απο την ομωνυμη οπερα του Πιοτρ Ιλιτς Τσαικοφσκυ.

Δεν χρειαζεται να ξερετε Ρωσικα! Δεν χρειαζεται να εχετε παει ποτε σε οπερα! Δεν χρειαζεται να αγαπατε την μουσικη! Κλειστε τα ματια, χαλαρωστε, αγκαλιαστε καποιον, καποιαν,  η κατι που αγαπατε, και μεταφερθειτε σε εναν αλλο κοσμο! Παραδοθειτε στην μαγεια του Πιοτρ Ιλιτς, και το αγγελικο καλεσμα της Φλεμινγκ!

Σήμερα θέλω να μοιραστώ μαζι σας το ποιημα “Θρήνος για το Νότο”, που εγραψε ένας απο τους αγαπημένους μου Ιταλούς ποιητές, ο Σαλβατόρε Κουασιμόντο. Γεννήθηκε το 1901 στη Σικελία και απέθανε το 1968 στη Νάπολη της Καμπανιας. Αναπαυεται στο Κοιμητηριο Μονουμενταλε στο Μιλανο. Το 1959 του απονεμηθηκε το Βραβείο Νομπελ Λογοτεχνιας. Αρχικα παραθετω το ποιημα στα ιταλικα, και συνεχιζω με την ελληνικη αποδοση.

Today I want to share with you the poem “Lamento per il Sud”, written by one of my favourite Italian poets, Salvatore Quasimodo. He was born in Sicily on 1901 and died in Napoli on 1968. He is resting in the Monumentale Cemetery in Milano. In 1959 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. I start with the poem in Italian, and then give the interpretation in Greek.

Σαλβατορε Κουασιμοντο

Σαλβατορε Κουασιμοντο

Lamento per il Sud

La luna rossa, il vento, il tuo colore
di donna del Nord, la distesa di neve…
Il mio cuore è ormai su queste praterie,
in queste acque annuvolate dalle nebbie.
Ho dimenticato il mare, la grave
conchiglia soffiata dai pastori siciliani,
le cantilene dei carri lungo le strade
dove il carrubo trema nel fumo delle stoppie,
ho dimenticato il passo degli aironi e delle gru
nell’aria dei verdi altipiani
per le terre e i fiumi della Lombardia.
Ma l’uomo grida dovunque la sorte d’una patria.
Più nessuno mi porterà nel Sud.
Oh, il Sud è stanco di trascinare morti
in riva alle paludi di malaria,
è stanco di solitudine, stanco di catene,
è stanco nella sua bocca
delle bestemmie di tutte le razze
che hanno urlato morte con l’eco dei suoi pozzi,
che hanno bevuto il sangue del suo cuore.
Per questo i suoi fanciulli tornano sui monti,
costringono i cavalli sotto coltri di stelle,
mangiano fiori d’acacia lungo le piste
nuovamente rosse, ancora rosse, ancora rosse.
Più nessuno mi porterà nel Sud.
E questa sera carica d’inverno
è ancora nostra, e qui ripeto a te
il mio assurdo contrappunto
di dolcezze e di furori,
un lamento d’amore senza amore.

Θρήνος για το Νότο

Το κόκκινο φεγγάρι, ο άνεμος, το χρώμα σου της

βόρειας γυναικας, οι χιονισμένες πεδιάδες…

Η καρδιά μου ανήκει σ’αυτούς τους αγρούς,

σ’αυτά τα βυθισμενα στην ομίχλη νερά.

Λησμόνησα τη θάλασσα,

το βαρύ κοχύλι που φυσούσαν οι Σικελοί βοσκοί,

τον ήχο απο τις άμαξες πάνω στους δρόμους.

όπου το καρούμπο ριγεί ανάμεσα στα καπνισμένα


Λησμόνησα τους ερωδιούς και τους

πελαργούς που διασχίζουν τον αέρα

πάνω απο τους πράσινους λόφους της

Λομβαρδίας τις στεριές και τα ποτάμια.

Αλλά παντού ο άνθρωπος κραυγάζει το

πεπρωμένο της πατρίδας του.

Κανείς δε θα με φέρει πίσω στο νότο ξανά.

Ω, ο Νότος είναι κουρασμένος να σέρνει στην ξηρά

τους νεκρούς απο τους βάλτους της ελεονοσίας,

είναι κουρασμένος απο την ερημιά,

κουρασμένος απο τα δεσμά,

το στόμα του είναι κουρασμένο

να το καταριούνται σε κάθε γλώσσα

έχοντας ουρλιάξει το θάνατο μέσα απο την ηχώ των πηγαδιών του,

έχοντας ρουφήξει το αίμα απο την καρδιά του.

Παρ’όλα αυτά τα παιδιά του επιστρέφουν στα βουνά,

κρατώντας τα άλογα κάτω απο τα αστέρια

τρώγοντας τα λουλούδια της ακακίας κατά μήκος των δρόμων

κόκκινο ξανά, ακόμα κόκκινο, ακόμα κόκκινο.

Κανείς δε θα με φέρει πίσω στο Νότο ξανά.

Και αυτό το απόγευμα του χειμώνα είναι ακόμα δικό μας,

και εδώ σου εκφραζω ξανα

με γλυκα και παραταιρη οργη,

το θρήνο ενος ερωτα xωρις αγαπη.

ΥΓ. Έκανα παρεμβασεις στην Ελληνική απόδοση της Ειρηνης Μπέινα και Δέσποινας Θραψίμη


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