Thirty seven years approaching
already ripped pages of my life
by this time white pieces of hair have grown,
Xanthippei *, discreet announcers of age
regadless, chattery psalms in the head are chanting
and a relentless fire is burning the heart-
but for this coronida** quickly write about, Muses,
this one, my rulers, overthrows your madness.
*Xanthippe was an ancient Athenian (of supposedly argumentative nature), the wife of pholosopher Socrates, and mother of their three sons: Lamprocles, Sophroniscus, and Menexenus.
**coronida (singular)-THE two KORONIDES (or Coronides) were two nymph daughters of the constellation-giant Orion. When the land of Boiotia (Boeotia) was struck by pestilence and drought they voluntarily offered themselves up as sacrifice to the gods, bashing out their own brains with shuttles. Persephone in pity then turned them into comets.
The name Koronides was associated with the Greek words korônis, “curving one” or “comet” and korônê “the shuttle” and “the crow.”
By Philodemus 110-30BC.
(see Index scholarum in Universitate Litteraria Gryphiswaldensi
-Philodemus, Georg Kaibel)
Philodemus of Gadara (ca. 110–ca. 30 BC) “was an Epicurean philosopher and epigrammatist who, having studied in the Epicurean school …”http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/philodemus )
“N’écris pas – N’apprenons qu’à mourir à nous-mêmes
Ne demande qu’à Dieu … qu’à toi, si je t’aimais !
Au fond de ton silence écouter que tu m’aimes,
C’est entendre le ciel sans y monter jamais
N’écris pas ! ”
by Marceline Desbordes-Valmore (1786-1859)
“Do not write – Let us learn for ourselves how to die.
Ask only God… and to yourself if I loved you!
In your absence’s depth to hear that you love me
Is to hear heaven without ever getting there.
Do not write! ”
Translated by Thomas D. Le in 2007
I know not whether thou has been absent:
I lie down with thee, I rise up with thee,
In my dreams thou art with me.
If my eardrops tremble in my ears,
I know it is thou moving within my heart.
Aztec Indian Wedding Poem
I, too, wish to sing of heroic deeds
(about the Atreides, and about Kadmus),
but the lyre’s strings
can only produce sounds of love.
Recently, I changed the strings,
and then the lyre itself,
and tried to sing of the feats of Hercules,
but still the lyre kept singing songs of love.
So, fare well, you heroes!
because my lyre sings only songs of love.
by Anacreon (570 BC – 488 BC)
a Greek lyric poet, notable for his drinking songs and hymns.
Anacreon wrote all of his poetry in the ancient Ionic dialect.
ΘΕΛΩ ΛΕΓΕΙΝ ΑΤΡΕΙΔΑΣ,
ΘΕΛΩ ΔΕ ΚΑΔΜΟΝ ΑΙΔΕΙΝ,
Ο ΒΑΡΒΙΤΟΣ ΔΕ ΧΟΡΔΑΙΣ
ΕΡΩΤΑ ΜΟΥΝΟΝ ΗΧΕΙ.
ΗΜΕΙΨΑ ΝΕΥΡΑ ΠΡΩΗΝ
ΚΑΙ ΤΗΝ ΛΥΡΗΝ ΑΠΑΣΑΝ·
ΚΑΓΩ ΜΕΝ ΗΙΔΟΝ ΑΘΛΟΥΣ ΗΡΑΚΛΕΟΥΣ,
ΛΥΡΗ ΔΕ ΕΡΩΤΑΣ ΑΝΤΕΦΩΝΕΙ.
ΧΑΙΡΟΙΤΕ ΛΟΙΠΟΝ ΗΜΙΝ, ΗΡΩΕΣ·
Η ΛΥΡΗ ΓΑΡ ΜΟΝΟΥΣ ΕΡΩΤΑΣ ΑΙΔΕΙ.
I live, I die: I burn, I drown,
Amidst the cold, heat strikes me down
Too soft and too hard my life is to me
My great sorrows are mixed with glee.
All at once I laugh and I cry
And I endure great torment in pleasure.
My happiness flees, but lasts forever.
All at once I wilt and I thrive.
Thus inconstant love torments me.
Just as I think my pain has worsened
Without thinking so I am trouble-free.
Then when I believe my joy is certain
With happiness I so craved it fills me,
And sets me back to my first misfortune.
by Louise Labé (1524-1566)
Je vis, je meurs : je me brûle et me noie – I live, I die; I burn, I drown. (Sonnet VIII)
The earth trembled as you passed by,
Turning everything sacred as you walked.
And you set your blue eyes upon me for the first time,
speaking at me with the depth of the night
…like a nightingale who doesn’t need its wings to fly.
What a blessing it is to be worthy of your look.
I have seen rain on the desert,
and all impossible things coming true.
All of my prayers carry your name.
I wish to be pure so that I can desire you.
Take me as you will.
Ancient Egyptian love poem from the Middle Kingtom (1991-1668 BCE)
“If I know a song of Africa,
of the giraffe and the African new moon lying on her back,
of the plows in the fields and the sweaty faces
of the coffee pickers,
does Africa know a song of me?
Will the air over the plain quiver with a color that I have had on,
or the children invent a game in which my name is,
or the full moon throw a shadow over the gravel of the drive that was like me,
or will the eagles of the Ngong Hills look out for me?”
From OUT OF AFRICA by Isak Dinesen (1885-1962), chapter titled “Kamante and Lulu,” page 83.
“Sweet evenings come and go, love,
They came and went of yore:
This evening of our life, love,
Shall go and come no more.
When we have passed away, love,
All things will keep their name;
But yet no life on earth, love,
With ours will be the same.
The daisies will be there, love,
The stars in heaven will shine:
I shall not feel thy wish, love,
Nor thou my hand in thine. ”
by George Eliot -i.e. Mary Anne (alternatively Mary Ann or Marian) Evans, an English novelist, journalist and translator, and one of the leading writers of the Victorian era..
She used a male pen name, she said, to ensure her works would be taken seriously…
‘Love shook my heart’
Love shook my heart,
Like the wind on the mountain
Troubling the oak-trees.
The room was poor and shabby, a secret room above
the dubious tavern. From the window could be seen
dark shadows moving in a squalid narrow lane;
and from below came voices of town labourers
who now were loud at cards now voiced their jollity
with wanton song or joke, and called for drinks between.
And there — on the plebeian, unattractive bed
I had possession of the glowing body of love,
I had the inebriating lips voluptuously red —
the full red lips of such an inebriety
that even now, after so many eventful years,
writing thereof in my lone house, I reel again.
Translated by John Cavafy
(Poems by C. P. Cavafy. Translated, from the Greek, by J. C. Cavafy. Ikaros, 2003)
I have a need for your voice,
a longing for your company,
and an ache of melancholy
for the absence of signs of arrival.
Patience requires my torment,
the urgent need for you, heron of love,
your solar mercy for my frozen day,
your help, for my wound, I count on.
Ah, need, ache and longing!
Your kisses of substance, my food,
fail me, and I’m dying with the May.
I want you to come, the flower of your absence,
to calm the brow of thought
that ruins me with its eternal lightning.
by Miguel Hernandez
I am walking barefoot on an endless white beach. Suddenly the water keeps rising and covers every piece of land. Now I am walking in the water. I can feel the sand with my feet but I cannot see it. I have to find my way out of the water. I have to swim. Which way did I come here? I have to remember.
I am walking barefoot in my sun filled apartment. Suddenly the walls of the rooms are disappearing. Now I am walking from room to room. I can feel the doors that I close behind me but I cannot see them. I have to close all the doors. I can start over. Which way did I come here? I have to remember.
I am walking barefoot in your charming eyes. Suddenly I am hearing a crying woman. Now I am walking among crying women. I can feel their feelings but I cannot see them. I have to find my way out of your eyes. I have to run. Which way did I come here? I have to remember.
Infatuation He seems to me equal to the gods that man whoever he is who opposite you sits and listens close to your sweet speaking and lovely laughing — oh it puts the heart in my chest on wings for when I look at you, even a moment, no speaking is left in me no: tongue breaks and thin fire is racing under skin and in eyes no sight and drumming fills ears and cold sweat holds me and shaking grips me all, greener than grass I am and dead — or almost I seem to me. (translation at : http://inamidst.com/stuff/sappho/ ) ------------ Peer of the gods, the happiest man I seem Sitting before thee, rapt at thy sight, hearing Thy soft laughter and they voice most gentle, Speaking so sweetly. Then in my bosom my heart wildly flutters, And, when on thee I gaze never so little, Bereft am I of all power of utterance, My tongue is useless. There rushes at once through my flesh tingling fire, My eyes are deprived of all power of vision, My ears hear nothing by sounds of winds roaring, And all is blackness. Down courses in streams the sweat of emotion, A dread trembling o'erwhelms me, paler than I Than dried grass in autumn, and in my madness Dead I seem almost. (translation by Anne Carson, 2002)
Original poem- by
Sappho (630/612 BC to around 570 BC):
φαίνεταί μοι κῆνος ἴσος θέοισιν ἔμμεν' ὤνηρ, ὄττις ἐνάντιός τοι ἰσδάνει καὶ πλάσιον ἆδυ φωνεί- σας ὐπακούει καὶ γελαίσας ἰμέροεν, τό μ' ἦ μὰν καρδίαν ἐν στήθεσιν ἐπτόαισεν, ὠς γὰρ ἔς σ' ἴδω βρόχε' ὤς με φώνας οὔδεν ἔτ' εἴκει, ἀλλὰ κὰμ μὲν γλῶσσα +ἔαγε, λέπτον δ' αὔτικα χρῶι πῦρ ὐπαδεδρόμακεν, ὀππάτεσσι δ' οὐδ' ἒν ὄρημμ', ἐπιρρόμ- βεισι δ' ἄκουαι, κὰδ' δέ ἴδρως κακχέεται, τρόμος δὲ παῖσαν ἄγρει, χλωροτέρα δὲ ποίας ἔμμι, τεθνάκην δ' ὀλίγω 'πιδεύης φαίνομ' ἔμ' αὔτᾳ.
I fell in love with a Dimo from Paphos. not strange.
Then a Dimo from Samos. not important.
Thirdly again with a Dimo from Ysies. (one from Argolida and one from
Biotia) not a game anymore
Fourthly came a Dimo from Argolida.
The goddesses of fate must have named me Philodimo
to always love some Dimo.
Ερωτεύθηκα κάποια Δημώ από την Πάφο.δεν είναι περίεργο.
Μετά κάποια Δημώ από τη Σάμο.τίποτα σπουδαίο.
Τρίτη πάλι μια Δημώ από τις Υσίες.( μια στην Αργολίδα και μία στην Βοιωτία) δεν είναι πια παιχνίδι.
Τέταρτη ήρθε η Δημώ από την Αργολίδα.
Οι ίδιες οι Μοίρες πρέπει να με ονόμασαν Φιλόδημο
Για να φλογίζει την καρδιά μου πάντα κάποια Δημώ.
By Philodimos (110-40 B. C.)
From: Τα απανθρακωμένα χειρόγραφα (ολόκληρη βιβλιοθήκη) του Ερκολάνο http://thesecretrealtruth.blogspot.com/2012/01/blog-post_795.html#ixzz2KN5Y3OhQ
“When she welcomes me
Arms open wide
I feel as some traveler returning
From the far land of Punt.
All things change; the mind, the senses,
Into perfume rich and strange.
And when she parts her lips to kiss
My head is light, I am drunk without beer.”
(Love Poems of AncientEgypt, translated by
Ezra Pound and Noel Stock)