Thursday, October 12, 2006

Ruth and my sweet mother

Georgios Vizyinos
Some of my notes from today's class....

Η Ρουθ η Μωαβίτισσα

(Music, vocals: Nikos Xydakis
Poetry: Thodoris Gonis – Georgios Vizyinos)

Η Ρουθ η Μωαβίτισσα και η γλυκιά μου η μάνα
Σε μαύρο κάμπο και χρυσό μαζεύουνε το μάννα

Της Πάρου οι ανεμόμυλοι τις βλέπουν και δακρύζουν
Παρακαλούν τον άνεμο κι αρχίζουν να γυρίζουν

Του κόσμου όλα τα πουλιά φέρνουν σπυρί το στάρι
Ζεστό ψωμί στον ύπνο μας, κάτω απ’το μαξιλάρι.

- - - - - - - - -

1. In Greek, a common trend is the formation of composite words:
Άνεμος (wind) μύλος (mill) > ανεμόμυλος, νερό μύλος> νερόμυλος
2. κάμπος(plain), το δάκρυ(tear)> δακρύζω(shed tears), πουλί(bird), φέρνω(bring), σπυρί(grain), σιτάρι/στάρι(wheat), μαξιλάρι(pillow)

The poem is dedicated to (and inspired of) Georgios Vizyinos, Short story writer poet. Born in Vyzo (Vizyi) in Eastern Thrace, from where he took his pen name; his real name was Georgios Syrmas. Vizyinos distinguished himself as a prose writer who cultivated the study of mores and psychology in a lively katharevousa (formal Greek), drawing material from every day life in Thace. His works have an autobiographical flavour and are inspired by his family life and surroundings in Vizyi and Constantinople.

Also check:
On line resources:
check this nice sample: "To monon tis Zois tou Taxeidion"

The pioneer of modern Greek prose uses an interesting mixture of kathareuousa (formal Greek) and the spoken language of his era (especially the dialect of his native Thrace).

May I include a translation here? Which was not delivered in class...

Ruth from the land of Moav and my sweet mother
in black and golden plains harvest the manna

The windmills of Paros, watch them and shed tears
They beg the wind and start rotating

All the birds of the world bring a grain of wheat
Warm bread during our sleep, under the pillow.

Vizyinos always finds a way to enter my ceaseless monologue, at Galaxias hotel for example, in Kavala, spending long hours reading to Loukis extensive parts from "The only journey of his life". It was a rainy, frigid winter. January, evening and the late hours. I had a cold and the voice was getting magically vibrant, holding the tone of a tortured confession. These days, while in Amman, he found again a path via the satelite programme of ERT. A dramatic/dramatized biography concerning his late years, imprisoned in Dromokaiteion Mental Hospital... The first episodes kept me speechless and sleepless, watching details that I mostly knew and following passages from his texts. Last year there was a short-story competition about his work and life and, honestly speaking, I got tempted for a couple of weeks to participate.
The above mentioned song I chose it out of its light, it reminded me of Vermeer's paintings: the winter light as seen from the window. And the story of Ruth from the land of Moav, a stranger, a non-believer who is finally the one who applies the rules of redemption and becomes the foremother of Jesus. Ok; theology is nice, but not my motivation for the class. The autumn gives strange light effects during my morning class, in that semi-dark hall behind the thriving pink roses, before Luma or, officially, Diana switch on the white (sharp and voracious) lights.
Just this scene that Ruth from Moav and "my sweet mother" harvest the manna from the black / golden plains...

Σήμερα ειδικά, που είναι το γενέθλιον της αδερφής μου και μιλούσαμε το μεσημεράκι για τα παιδιά της.


Blogger EKA said...

I am amazed that somebody so far away, in the middle east is devoting his space on the works of Vizyinos. Happened to find out by accident as I waw trying toe translate a piece of his autobiography in english...amazing what you can find... it seems that the internet is hiding wonders!

11:48 PM  
Blogger Vas said...

Vizyinos, kind co-blogger, is one of my great literary passions. Alright, it is not a hazardous wonder: I teach Greek language and literature in the Middle East and I just wanted to introduce him smoothly to my students, by means of a song. Thank you for your message. This is the hidden wonder: the signal of communication.

7:44 AM  

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