Yannis Ritsos-Poems, Selected Books, Volume II

Yannis Ritsos-Poems, Selected Books, Volume II
ΙΣΜΗΝΗ///ISMENE

Χτυπούσαν οι καμπάνες· σώπαιναν. Άνθρωποι εφτάναν, φεύγανε, τρέχαν.
Κάποτε πιάνανε καταρρακτώδεις βροχές· πλημμύριζαν οι στέρνες μες στα σπίτια·
έλεγες όλα θα τα πάρει το νερό, θα τα τραβήξει στη θάλασσα, θα τα ξεπλύνει.
Έβγαινε πάλι ο ήλιος· στέγνωναν· δεν άλλαζε τίποτα. Ο κήπος
έκανε τον αθώο· λάμπαν τα γαρίφαλα. Πάνω απ’ τον κήπο
κροτούσαν τα τυπογραφεία, οι γραφομηχανές. Ίδιοι άνθρωποι μ’ άλλα προσωπεία,
κουρντισμένοι, ξεκούρντιστοι, μπαίναν στις αίθουσες, καθόνταν
μπρος σε μεγάλα, μαύρα, αστραφτερά, δικαστικά τραπέζια,
τα χέρια τους ήταν μεγάλες, άπληστες, λυμφατικές αράχνες,
ξετύλιγαν ρουλά χαρτιά· διάβαζαν· έγραφαν· σφράγιζαν·
έστελναν άλλα χαρτιά· χειρονομούσαν· άνοιγαν διάπλατα το στόμα,
φωνή, κραυγή δεν έβγαινε — μια μαύρη τρύπα στον αέρα·
μπορεί και να φωνάζαν «ζήτω» ή «κάτω» — δεν ξεχώριζα τίποτα·

μόνο ένας φόβος ξεχώριζε· δεν ήξερα τότε γιατί· απορούσα
πώς μπορεί να φοβούνται οι μηχανές, τα τραπέζια, οι καρέκλες,
το στόμα του καπνοδόχου, το μισοτελειωμένο κρασί στο ποτήρι,
η ψημένη κότα στην πιατέλα, ένα πιρούνι υψωμένο πάνω απ’ το πιάτο —
κι έμενε εκεί παγωμένο.
Κάτι όμορφοι αγγελιαφόροι καταφτάναν·
ανοίγαν κι εκείνοι το στόμα τους· ήχος δεν έβγαινε·
μα ήταν αλλιώς αυτοί· λαχανιάζαν· μας άρεσε
εκείνο το λαχάνιασμά τους· φαινόταν κι η γλώσσα τους
κόκκινη, κατακόκκινη, σα να ’ταν πολύ καλοκαίρι με ποτάμια και δέντρα.



Sometimes the bells chimed; then they went silent. People
arrived, left, run; heavy rains fell. The house cisterns
got filled to the top, you’d think that everything washed
away by the water all the way to the sea, to be cleansed.
Then they dried up in the sunshine; nothing had changed.
The garden pretended to be innocent; the carnations shone.
The typesetting, the typewriters echoed above the garden. 
Same people with different masks, tuned up, out of tune,
entered big halls, sat like judges behind big, black, shining
                 desks,
their hands resembled huge, greedy, lymphatic spiders,
that unrolled rolls of papers. They read, they stamped,
they forwarded papers, they gesticulated, with wide opened
mouths, they had no voice — their mouths just a big
black hole in the air. Perhaps they even saluted, hurrah,
                hurrah, I couldn’t tell.
 
Only a certain fear was discerned; I didn’t know the reason
back then; I wondered why machines were afraid of the tables,
the chairs, the chimney’s mouth, the half-drunk wine in the glass,
the roasted chicken in the platter, a fork hovering over the plate;
that stayed exactly there, frozen.
Sometimes handsome messengers arrived; they opened
their mouths too. No sound was heard. However they were
different; always out of breath. We liked their short breath;
we could see their tongues, red, totally red, as if it was still
summer with many rivers and trees.

Δύο ερυθρόμορφες λεκανίδες από το Γιαννοπούλειο Αρχαιολογικό Μουσείο Αλμυρού

ΕΛΛΑΣ

ΒΕ 6305

Η θέση της γυναίκας στην αρχαία ελληνική κοινωνία περνά από διάφορα στάδια. Έτσι, μέσα από μια μητριαρχική παράδοση των προϊστορικών κοινοτήτων και την διαρκή κυρίεια (κηδεμονία) της γυναίκας στα χρόνια του Περικλή, περνάμε στις σημαντικές αλλαγές που έφεραν οι κατακτήσεις του Μεγάλου Αλεξάνδρου σε όλο το κοινωνικοπολιτικό φάσμα του τότε κόσμου. Η γυναίκα αποκτά σημαντικά δικαιώματα και τη βλέπουμε να διατηρεί ηγεμονική θέση, από βασίλισσα των Πτολεμαίων μέχρι ιέρεια της Αθηνάς Πολιάδας, «εργαστίνη» για την ύφανση του πέπλου ή «κανηφόρος» στα Παναθήναια.

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Daily Dose of Bhagavad Gita

Be Inspired..!!

Chapter 1: Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra

TEXT 11

ayanesu ca sarvesu
yatha-bhagam avasthitah
bhismam evabhiraksantu
bhavantah sarva eva hi

Chapter 1 – Verse11

TRANSLATION

Now all of you must give full support to Grandfather Bhisma, standing at your respective strategic points in the phalanx of the army.

PURPORT

Duryodhana, after praising the prowess of Bhisma, further considered that others might think that they had been considered less important, so in his usual diplomatic way, he tried to adjust the situation in the above words. He emphasized that Bhismadeva was undoubtedly the greatest hero, but he was an old man, so everyone must especially think of his protection from all sides. He might become engaged in the fight, and the enemy might take advantage of his full engagement on one side. Therefore, it was important that other heroes would not leave their strategic positions and allow the…

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Yannis Ritsos-Poems, Selected Books, volume III

Yannis Ritsos-Poems, Selected Books, Volume III
Ημερολόγια Εξορίας//Exile Diaries
 
 
23 Φεβρουαρίου
 
Άσπρο το φεγγάρι
τυμπανισμένο
σαν την κοιλιά του πνιγμένου.
 
Ο Μανόλης έλεγε:
όλα θα πάνε καλά.
Τόλεγε η καρδιά του Μανόλη.
 
Ο Μανόλης
κάτου στο βαθύ νερό
με τα τυφλά φύκια.
 
 
23rd of February
 
White, swollen moon
like the belly
of the drowned.
 
Things will be alright,
Manolis said.
Manolis had a good heart.
 
Manolis
deep in the water
amid the blind seaweed.
 

George Seferis-Collected Poems

Μυθιστόρημα/Mythistorema

Ι´

Ὁ τόπος μας εἶναι κλειστός, ὅλο βουνὰ
ποὺ ἔχουν σκεπὴ τὸ χαμηλὸ οὐρανὸ μέρα καὶ νύχτα.
Δὲν ἔχουμε ποτάμια δὲν ἔχουμε πηγάδια δὲν ἔχουμε πηγές,
μονάχα λίγες στέρνες, ἄδειες κι αὐτές, ποὺ ἠχοῦν καὶ ποὺ τὶς προσκυνοῦμε.
Ἦχος στεκάμενος κούφιος, ἴδιος με τὴ μοναξιά μας
ἴδιος με τὴν ἀγάπη μας, ἴδιος με τὰ σώματά μας.
Μᾶς φαίνεται παράξενο ποὺ κάποτε μπορέσαμε νὰ χτίσουμε
τὰ σπίτια τὰ καλύβια καὶ τὶς στάνες μας.
Κι οἱ γάμοι μας, τὰ δροσερὰ στεφάνια καὶ τὰ δάχτυλα
γίνουνται αἰνίγματα ἀνεξήγητα γιὰ τὴν ψυχή μας.
Πῶς γεννήθηκαν πῶς δυναμώσανε τὰ παιδιά μας;

Ὁ τόπος μας εἶναι κλειστός. Τὸν κλείνουν
οἱ δυὸ μαῦρες Συμπληγάδες. Στὰ λιμάνια
τὴν Κυριακὴ σὰν κατεβοῦμε ν᾿ ἀνασάνουμε
βλέπουμε νὰ φωτίζουνται στὸ ἡλιόγερμα
σπασμένα ξύλα ἀπὸ ταξίδια ποὺ δὲν τέλειωσαν
σώματα ποὺ δὲν ξέρουν πιὰ πῶς ν᾿ ἀγαπήσουν.

X

Our homeland is closed in, all mountains

that day and night have the low sky as their roof.

We have no rivers, no water wells, no springs

only a few cisterns, even them empty, that echo and that we worship.

A stagnant hollow sound, same as our loneliness

same as our love, same as our bodies.

It seems strange that once we managed to build

our houses, huts and our sheepfolds.

And our marriages, the fresh coronals and our fingers

become inexplicable enigmas to our souls.

How were our children born, how did they grow strong?

Our homeland is closed in. Two black Symplegades

enclose it. When we go down

to the harbours on Sunday to breathe freely

we see lit in the sunset

the broken ships from voyages that never ended

bodies that no longer know how to love.

Φιλία Κανελλοπούλου, Τρία ποιήματα

To Koskino

3

Το περπάτημα του κυρίου απέναντι
μ’ αρέσει
Είναι ένα ωρό περπάτημα
Ένα-ένα πόδι
Ωραία, καλογυαλισμένα, δετά παπούτσια
Πάνω στις γραμμές απ’ τα τετραγωνάκια
-με τη λιγότερη δόση ψυχαναγκασμού
της εποχής μας-
Στέκεται τώρα
Κρατάει την ομπρέλα του και μας κοιτά
Έχει ωραίο βλέμμα
Αν τον γνώριζα στον κόσμο
Δε θα του έδινα καμιά προσοχή
Είναι γέρος
Μα γλυκύτατος
Λεπτός
Και ήσυχος
Και κάτω απ’ τη γη
αυτός ο κύριος
είναι πραγματικά πολύ
όμορφος
για την εποχή μας

4
Με τα στραβά μου τα δόντια – Λύκος
Με τη μεγάλη μου μύτη – Γύπας
Με τα μακριά μου τα νύχια – Γάτα
Τα φοντωτά μου μαλλιά – Αλεπού

Τι είμαι;

5

Ι
πρώτα την φτιάχνεις
μετά τη ζεις
για να μάθεις
πως είσαι
από πριν

ΙΙ
την ημέρα που γεννήθηκα
κι άλλοι πολλοί
γεννήθηκαν
Μας συνδέει
η επείγουσα ανάγκη
Ζωής
και θανάτου

ΙΙΙ
Σαράντα μέρες πέρασαν
από τότε
που
γεννήθηκα

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Προπαγάνδα και πραγματικότητα για τον πόλεμο στην Ουκρανία

ΕΛΛΑΣ

Γράφει η Μαρία Νεγρεπόντη-Δελιβάνη

Οι ευσεβείς πόθοι της Δύσης για κατατρόπωση της Ρωσίας, στην Ουκρανία, επεκτείνονται και εντείνονται μέχρι του σημείου που να καλλιεργούν ελπίδες για τελική νίκη της Ουκρανίας. Υποστηρίζεται, ανάμεσα και σε άλλα, ότι η στρατιωτική μηχανή της Ρωσίας είναι λιγότερο ισχυρή από ό,τι πιστεύεται, ότι οι Ρώσοι δεν είναι σε θέση να εκτελέσουν τα σχέδιά τους και ότι υφίστανται ήττες από την Ουκρανία.


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Constantine P. Cavafy-Poems

Τρώες (1905)

Είν’ η προσπάθειές μας, των συφοριασμένων·
είν’ η προσπάθειές μας σαν των Τρώων.
Κομμάτι κατορθώνουμε· κομμάτι
παίρνουμ’ επάνω μας· κι αρχίζουμε
νάχουμε θάρρος και καλές ελπίδες.

Μα πάντα κάτι βγαίνει και μας σταματά.
Ο Αχιλλεύς στην τάφρον εμπροστά μας
βγαίνει και με φωνές μεγάλες μας τρομάζει.–

Είν’ η προσπάθειές μας σαν των Τρώων.
Θαρρούμε πως με απόφασι και τόλμη
θ’ αλλάξουμε της τύχης την καταφορά,
κ’ έξω στεκόμεθα ν’ αγωνισθούμε.

Αλλ’ όταν η μεγάλη κρίσις έλθει,
η τόλμη κ’ η απόφασίς μας χάνονται·
ταράττεται η ψυχή μας, παραλύει·
κι ολόγυρα απ’ τα τείχη τρέχουμε
ζητώντας να γλυτώσουμε με την φυγή.

Όμως η πτώσις μας είναι βεβαία. Επάνω,
στα τείχη, άρχισεν ήδη ο θρήνος.
Των ημερών μας αναμνήσεις κλαιν κ’ αισθήματα.

Πικρά για μας ο Πρίαμος κ’ η Εκάβη κλαίνε.


TROJANS

Our efforts are like those of the unfortunate;

like the efforts of the Trojans.

We succeed a bit; we regain

our confidence; and we start feeling

brave and having high hopes.

But always something comes up and stops us.

Achilles appears in front of us in the trench

and with loud shouts frightens us back.—

Our efforts are like those of the Trojans.

We think that with resolution and boldness

we can reverse the downhill course of fate,

and we stand outside ready to fight.

But when the great crisis comes,

our boldness and resolution vanish;

our soul is shaken, paralyzed;

and we run around the walls

trying to save ourselves by running away.

And yet our fall is certain. High up,

on the walls, the dirge has already started

mourning memories and auras of our days.

Priamos and Ekavi weep bitterly for us.

Nostos and Algos

Old Couple
 
 
Long and narrow rusted table
hardly stands motionless
bleached out tablecloth as though
thrown in debts of river for a long time
cloth faded like her eyes gazing agony
of the sea to reach the foreign land
where her son has vanished
 
shade of grapevine thick like a sin
harsh like a thought pounding
her memory to give birth to new light
 
when he brings two plates, trembling
hands pour wine in two glasses,
small plate with olives, piece of feta
 
the sigh expertly camouflaged by his smile
as the lone cicada insists to disturb
monologue of their loneliness
 
when he finally sits next to her
above them the grapevine smiles
as his calloused fingers touch
her wrinkled hand and the sun
somewhere higher than everybody
roars in laughter when the old man says
“you forgot to make the salad”
 
 
 
In memory of my parents
in their late years of life in the village
Ζευγάρι Γερόντων
 
Στενόμακρο τραπεζάκι που
με δυσκολία στέκεται ακίνητο,
τραπεζομάντι λο σαν
να το πέταξαν στο βάθος ποταμού
ξεθωριασμένο σαν τα μάτια της
να κοιτούν την αγωνία της θάλασσας
που οδηγεί στην ξενιτειά που ο γιος τ ης ζει.
 
Ίσκιος κληματαριάς βαθύπνοος
και σκληρός σαν αμαρτία,
αμείλιχτος σαν σκέψη που σφυρηλατεί
τη θύμησή τ ης για να ξαναγενν ήσει φώς
κι εκείνος φέρνει τα δυο πιάτα,
το κρασί που τα τρεμάμενά του χέρια βάζουν
σ τα ποτήρια, πιατάκι ελιές, ένα κομμάτι φέτα
 
κι ο στεναγμός απλά μασκαρεμ ένος με το χαμογέλιο
κι απο του τζίτζικα την επιμονή να διακόπτει
της μοναξιάς τους το μονόλογο
όταν επιτέλους κάθεται δίπλα της.
 
Πάνωθέ τους η κληματαριά γελά
σαν τα ροζιασμένα δάχ τυλά του
αγγίζουν τις ρυτίδες του χεριού της κι ο ήλιος
κάπου ψηλότερα ξεκαρδίζεται στα γέλια
που τ ης λέει… ξέχασες να κόψεις τη σαλάτα.
 
 
 
 
 
Aφιερωμένο στους γονείς μου που ζήσαν τα γ ηρατειά τους στο χωριό’
 

John Pilger

WAR IN EUROPE AND THE RISE OF RAW PROPAGANDA

17 February 2022

Marshall McLuhan’s prophecy that “the successor to politics will be propaganda” has happened.  Raw propaganda is now the rule in Western democracies, especially the US and Britain

On matters of war and peace, ministerial deceit is reported as news. Inconvenient facts are censored, demons are nurtured. The model is corporate spin, the currency of the age. In 1964, McLuhan famously declared, “The medium is the message.” The lie is the message now.

But is this new? It is more than a century since Edward Bernays, the father of spin, invented “public relations” as a cover for war propaganda. What is new is the virtual elimination of dissent in the mainstream.

The great editor David Bowman, author of The Captive Press, called this “a defenestration of all who refuse to follow a line and to swallow the unpalatable and are brave”. He was referring to independent journalists and whistle blowers, the honest mavericks to whom media organisations once gave space, often with pride. The space has been abolished.

The war hysteria that has rolled in like a tidal wave in recent weeks and months is the most striking example. Known by its jargon, “shaping the narrative”, much if not most of it is pure propaganda.

The Russians are coming. Russia is worse than bad. Putin is evil, “a Nazi like Hitler”, salivated the Labour MP Chris Bryant. Ukraine is about to be invaded by Russia – tonight, this week, next week. The sources include an ex CIA propagandist who now speaks for the US State Department and offers no evidence of his claims about Russian actions because “it comes from the US Government”.

The no-evidence rule also applies in London. The British Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, who spent £500,000 of public money flying to Australia in a private plane to warn the Canberra government that both Russia and China were about to pounce,  offered no evidence. Antipodean heads nodded; the “narrative” is unchallenged there. One rare exception, former prime minister Paul Keating, called Truss’s warmongering “demented”.

Truss has blithely confused the countries of the Baltic and Black Sea. In Moscow, she told the Russian foreign minister that Britain would never accept Russian sovereignty over Rostov and Voronezh – until it was pointed out to her that these places were not part of Ukraine but in Russia. Read the Russian press about the buffoonery of this pretender to 10 Downing Street and cringe.

This entire farce, recently starring Boris Johnson in Moscow playing a clownish version of his hero, Churchill, might be enjoyed as satire were it not for its wilful abuse of facts and historical understanding and the real danger of war.

Vladimir Putin refers to the “genocide” in the eastern Donbas region of Ukraine. Following the coup in Ukraine in 2014 – orchestrated by Barack Obama’s “point person” in Kyiv, Victoria Nuland – the coup regime, infested with neo-Nazis, launched a campaign of terror against Russian-speaking Donbas, which accounts for a third of Ukraine’s population.

Overseen by CIA director John Brennan in Kyiv, “special security units” coordinated savage attacks on the people of Donbas, who opposed the coup. Video and eyewitness reports show bussed fascist thugs burning the trade union headquarters in the city of Odessa, killing 41 people trapped inside. The police are standing by. Obama congratulated the “duly elected” coup regime for its “remarkable restraint”.

In the US media the Odessa atrocity was played down as “murky” and a “tragedy” in which “nationalists” (neo-Nazis) attacked “separatists” (people collecting signatures for a referendum on a federal Ukraine). Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal damned the victims – “Deadly Ukraine Fire Likely Sparked by Rebels, Government Says”.

Professor Stephen Cohen, acclaimed as America’s leading authority on Russia, wrote, “The pogrom-like burning to death of ethnic Russians and others in Odessa reawakened memories of Nazi extermination squads in Ukraine during world war two. [Today] storm-like assaults on gays, Jews, elderly ethnic Russians, and other ‘impure’ citizens are widespread throughout Kyiv-ruled Ukraine, along with torchlight marches reminiscent of those that eventually inflamed Germany in the late 1920s and 1930s…

“The police and official legal authorities do virtually nothing to prevent these neo-fascist acts or to prosecute them. On the contrary, Kyiv has officially encouraged them by systematically rehabilitating and even memorialising Ukrainian collaborators with Nazi German extermination pogroms, renaming streets in their honour, building monuments to them, rewriting history to glorify them, and more.”

Today, neo-Nazi Ukraine is seldom mentioned. That the British are training the Ukrainian National Guard, which includes neo-Nazis, is not news. (See Matt Kennard’s Declassified report in Consortium 15 February). The return  of violent, endorsed fascism to 21st-century Europe, to quote Harold Pinter, “never happened … even while it was happening”.

On 16 December, the United Nations tabled a resolution that called for “combating glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism”. The only nations to vote against it were the United States and Ukraine.

Almost every Russian knows that it was across the plains of Ukraine’s “borderland” that Hitler’s divisions swept from the west in 1941, bolstered by Ukraine’s Nazi cultists and collaborators. The result was more than 20 million Russian dead.

Setting aside the manoeuvres and cynicism of geopolitics, whomever the players, this historical memory is the driving force behind Russia’s respect-seeking, self-protective security proposals, which were published in Moscow in the week the UN voted 130-2 to outlaw Nazism. They are:

– NATO guarantees that it will not deploy missiles in nations bordering Russia. (They are already in place from Slovenia to Romania, with Poland to follow)
– NATO to stop military and naval exercises in nations and seas bordering Russia.
– Ukraine will not become a member of NATO.
– the West and Russia to sign a binding East-West security pact.
– the landmark treaty between the US and Russia covering intermediate-range nuclear weapons to be restored. (The US abandoned it in 2019)

These amount to a comprehensive draft of a peace plan for all of post-war Europe and ought to be welcomed in the West. But who understands their significance in Britain? What they are told is that Putin is a pariah and a threat to Christendom.

Russian-speaking Ukrainians, under economic blockade by Kyiv for seven years, are fighting for their survival. The “massing” army we seldom hear about are the thirteen Ukrainian army brigades laying siege to Donbas: an estimated 150,000 troops. If they attack, the provocation to Russia will almost certainly mean war.

In 2015, brokered by the Germans and French, the presidents of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France met in Minsk and signed an interim peace deal. Ukraine agreed to offer autonomy to Donbas, now the self declared republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.

The Minsk agreement has never been given a chance. In Britain, the line,  amplified by Boris Johnson, is that Ukraine is being “dictated to” by world leaders. For its part, Britain is arming Ukraine and training its army.

Since the first Cold War, NATO has effectively marched right up to Russia’s most sensitive border having demonstrated its bloody aggression in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and broken solemn promises to pull back.  Having dragged European “allies” into American wars that do not concern them, the great unspoken is that NATO itself is the real threat to European security.

In Britain, a state and media xenophobia is triggered at the very mention of “Russia”. Mark the knee-jerk hostility with which the BBC reports Russia. Why? Is it because the restoration of imperial mythology demands, above all, a permanent enemy? Certainly, we deserve better.

http://johnpilger.com/articles/war-in-europe-and-the-rise-of-raw-propaganda