Ο σκουπιδότοπος κάτω απ’ το Αστεροσκοπείο,
κι ο τρελλός ολομόναχος, χτυπώντας
έναν παλιό σκουριασμένον τενεκέ
σε μιαν εξαίσια ομοηχία με τ’ αστέρια
και με το γέρο κλειδούχο που αγρυπνάει
δίπλα στις ράγες του αχρηστευμένου τραίνου
εκεί που μεγαλώνουν οι κακές τσουκνίδες
κρύβοντας τις αρβύλες του στρατιώτη που γδύθηκε
για ν’ανεβεί καίινα σταθεί στο αέτωμα του ναού.
The garbage dump below the Observatory
and the crazy man all alone, striking
an old rusted tin bucket
in exquisite homophonic rhythm with the stars
and with the old key-keeper in vigil next to
the derelict train where poisonous nettles grow
hiding the boots of the soldier who undressed
before he climbed and stood at the temple pediment.
~Γιάννη Ρίτσου-ποιήματα/Μετάφραση Μανώλη Αλυγιζάκη
~Yannis Ritsos-Poems/translated by Manolis Aligizakis
The Ramayana (/rɑːˈmɑːjənə/; Sanskrit: रामायणम्, Rāmāyaṇam, pronounced [rɑːˈmɑːjəɳəm]) is a Sanskrit epic poem ascribed to the Hindu sage and Sanskrit poet Valmiki. It is regarded as one of the two great works of Indian literature, along with the Mahabharata. The Ramayana also plays an important role in Hindu literature (smṛti). It depicts the duties of relationships, portraying ideal characters like the ideal father, the ideal servant, the ideal brother, the ideal wife and the ideal king. The name Ramayana is a tatpurusha compound of Rāma and ayana (“going, advancing”), translating to “Rama’s Journey”. The Ramayana consists of 24,000 verses in seven books (kāṇḍas) and 500 cantos (sargas) and tells the story of Rama (the seventh avatar of the Hindu supreme-god Vishnu), whose wife Sita is abducted by Ravana, the king of Lanka (current day Sri Lanka). Incidentally the first letter of every 1000 verses (total 24) make the Gayatri mantra. Thematically, the Ramayana explores human values and the concept of dharma.
Verses in the Ramayana are written in a 32-syllable meter called anuṣṭubh. The Ramayana was an important influence on later Sanskrit poetry and Hindu life and culture. Like the Mahabharata, the Ramayana is not just a story: it presents the teachings of ancient Hindu sages in narrative allegory, interspersing philosophical and devotional elements. The characters Rama, Sita, Lakshman, Bharata, Hanuman and Ravana are all fundamental to the cultural consciousness of India, Nepal and many south-east Asian countries such as Thailand and Indonesia.
There are other versions of the Ramayana in Indian languages, besides Buddhist and Jain adaptations; and also Cambodian, Indonesian, Filipino, Thai, Lao, Burmese, and Malaysian versions of the tale.