S e f e r i s G e o r g i o s is one of the most important Greek poets of the 20th century and a Nobel for literature laureate for "his eminent lyrical writing, inspired by a deep feeling for the Hellenic world of culture". “Last Stop” is a long-form, stream of consciousness poem with a confessional tone, where the speaker seeks “a way to begin to speak of things that you acknowledge with difficulty,” or, a means of beginning to express the poet’s anguish at his country’s loss.
Few are the moonlit nights I have cared for;
the primer-book of stars which you spell out
according to your fatigue towards and of day
and from it gather other hopes and other meanings
you may read with greater clarity.
Now that I sit contemplative and idle
few are the moons which have remained in memory:
islands, color of a grieving Madonna, late in the moon’s waning,
the light of the moon in northern cities sometimes casting
rivers and limbs of men on troubled streets,
a heavy stupor, yet here last night, on this our final station,
where we wait for the hour of homecoming to dawn
Like an old debt, coin for years locked up
In a miser’s chest, until at length
the moment of reckoning comes, and coins
can be heard dropping on the table-top;
in this Tyrrhenian village behind the Sea of Salerno
behind the harbor of the return, by the edge
of the autumn shower, the moon
has outstripped the clouds, and the houses
on the opposite slopes are enamel.
Beloved silences of the moon.
This is also a way of thinking, one way
of beginning to speak of things you confess to
with difficulty, in hours when you cannot restrain yourself, to a friend
who escaped secretly and brings
news of companions and of home
and you hasten to open up your heart
lest exile should forestall you and change him.
O d y s s e u s E l y t i s is a distinguished Greek poet and winner of the 1979 Nobel Prize for literature. When Nazi Germany occupied Greece in 1941, Elytis fought against the Italians in Albania. During and after the Greek Civil War, he lapsed into literary silence for almost 15 years, returning to print in 1959 with 'To Axion Esti' (“Worthy It Is”), a long poem in which the speaker explores the essence of his being, as well as the identity of his country and people. This poem, set to music by Mikis Theodorakis, became immensely popular and helped Elytis earn the Nobel Prize.
T a s o s L e i v a d i t i s is one of the most distinguished writers in the generation of the post war period in Greece. An amazing poem – beautifully recited by the actor Kostas Kazakos in an effort to raise awareness to people for peace and justice.
"The ballad of Mauthausen" is based on the experiences of the Greek playwright Iakovos Kambanellis. He wrote four poems which are based on the experiences he had as a political prisoner in the Mauthausen German camp in Austria durind WW2. He was inspired by the photo of an unknown girl he found in the camp. The song is a hymn to love, which can blossom even in a nightmare situation and can keep hope for life alive.
ASMA ASMATON (SONG OF THE SONGS) By MIKIS THEODORAKIS
"DON'T ASK ME"
Lyricist: Lefteris Papadopoulos
Composer: Manos Loizos
The machine guns have shut up,
the cities have emptied and closed down
A frozen north wind sweeps the desolate earth
Soldiers come and go, they ask what did they fight for
And you you go all quiet you put out a finger to find the wound
Don't ask me, I don't remember
Don't ask me, don't ask me, don't ask me
Don't look at me, I am afraid of you
Don't look at me, don't ask me, don't ask me
Night is falling over the city the snow covering the roofs
A truck takes its load and cuts the silence in two
Patrols on the streets and some voice shouting orders
And you go all quiet, you put out a finger to find the wound
Don't ask me, I don't remember Don't ask me, don't ask me, don't ask me
Don't look at me, I am afraid of you
Don't look at me, don't ask me, don't ask me.