Athens


Here the sky is everywhere, on all sides shines the sun, and
something like the honey of Hymettus is all around;
out of the marble grow lilies unwithering;
divine Mount Pentelicon flashes, begetter of an Olympus

The digging axe stumbles on beauty;
in her bosom Cybele holds Gods, not mortals;
when the shafts of twilight strike her,
Athens gushes violet blood.

Here are the temples and the groves of the sacred olive,
and in the slowly shifting crowd, like a caterpillar
on a white flower;

A host of deathless relics live and reign with myriad souls;
The spirit flashes even in the earth; I feel it wrestling
With the darkness in me.

Poem by Kostis Palamas from The Penguin Book of Greek Verse, Constantine A. Trypanis (ed. & trans.), Middlesex, Penguin Books, 1971
Photo of the Acropolis of Athens, 2 November 2015 by DTH

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