From a Greek festival this past week in support of Palestine

March 27, 2010

In News The Israel-Palestine Conflict

Dear All,
You have to listen to this beautiful song from the festival for Gaza. The lyrics are from Odysseas Elytis and music:Theodorakis-The Sun of Justice with translation below and notes from the translator.

Της δικαιοσύνης ήλιε νοητέ
και μυρσίνη συ δοξαστική
μη παρακαλώ σας μη
λησμονάτε τη χώρα μου!

Sun of justice, whom we feel *
and you, myrtle branch of glory,
do not, I beg of you
do not forget my country!

Τα πικρά μου χέρια με τον κεραυνό
τα γυρίζω πίσω απ’ τον καιρό
τους παλιούς μου φίλους καλώ
με φοβέρες και μ’ αίματα!

My bitter hands, by thunder
I am turning them back behind the times,
my old friends, I am calling them forth
with threats and with blood!

Αετόμορφα έχει τα ψηλά βουνά
στα ηφαίστεια κλήματα σειρά
και τα σπίτια πιο λευκά
στου γλαυκού το γειτόνεμα!

It has tall mountains shaped like eagles
the vines in ranks on the volcanoes’ flanks
and the houses more white
for the neighbourhood of the azure.


Translator’s note: Ι have been asked several times to translate this song. I have refused because the Αξιον εστί can not be translated. Its essence and its language are essentially one. So I said “can’t”. However. I was asked again. The request – for this specific song – came from the united states of america, a few days after Bush’s re-election. Under the circumstances, I felt that any tiny portion of the meaning that I could get across would be better than nothing. So, “though it’s always dangerous to translate Elytis” as a friend of mine put it a long time ago… May the poet forgive me! Geske.