Thoughts on ‘A People, as Old as the World’

La Grèce sur les ruines de Missolonghi -  Greece Expiring on the Ruins of Missolonghi (Eugène Delacroix, 1826)
La Grèce sur les ruines de Missolonghi –
Greece Expiring on the Ruins of Missolonghi (Eugène Delacroix, 1826)

A friend of mine mentioned that she likes to read my poems but often doesn’t understand what they are about.  So I decided that from time-to-time I would comment on the thoughts behind my poems.

I write poetry but I do not read much of it.  Ironically enough, I just don’t get it.  So I decided that I would try to read some poems, which I did; in english.  However, I found it hard to connect with the writings of these famous poets and I became frustrated.  I then started to read Greek poetry and immediately… I was enamoured.  This made me wonder, what is it about the Greek poetry that captivates me; actually which fills me with a longing for all that I have lost?  I wonder if someone will ever find empirical evidence for a ‘cultural’ or even a ‘spiritual’ DNA, because that is what it feels like.   I find myself understanding the language intuitively (because half the time I have no idea what the words mean!).  I feel like I know the writers and that I am living what they lived.  But also those other ‘poets’, who wrote with their life and painted with their blood, sweat and tears.  Is it our shared history?  Or perhaps the fact that my forefathers of old sacrificed so much, even their life, so that I could be free to be me.

The poem A People, as Old as the World is about the struggle for identity – between the individualistic culture of the west that I was brought up in and the collectivist culture of my Hellenic forefathers.  It is about discovering the treasures that I have overlooked, or rather, taken for granted.  It is about appreciating the people, experiences, history, time and blood that preceded me, setting a firm foundation for the freedom which I enjoy today.  It is about freeing myself from the rigid reasoning of the west, which can oftentimes feel so contrived.  Mostly, however, it is about claiming my inheritance and uncovering the fervent bond which links me to people that I never met.

 

 

 

 

 

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