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Saturday, 3 October 2015

Aris Messinis: This week on Lesvos / George Seferis: from 'Thrush': "Light, angelic and black..."

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Refugees and migrants arrive at the Greek island of Lesvos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey: image via Aris Messinis @ArisMessinis, 30 September 2015

Light, angelic and black
breaks through slate cloud
.......over a cold sea
rock'd with autumn's coming

Lesvos
 

A woman embraces her child arriving to #Lesvos photo by AFP/ @ArisMessinis: image via dromografos @dromografos, 30 September 2015

George Seferis: from 'Thrush'

Light, angelic and black,
laughter of waves on the sea’s highways
tear-stained laughter,
the old suppliant sees you
as he moves to cross the invisible fields --
light mirrored in his blood,
the blood that gave birth to Eteocles and Polynices.
Day, angelic and black;
the brackish taste of woman that poisons the prisoner
emerges from the wave a cool branch adorned with drops.
Sing little Antigone, sing, O sing. . .
I’m not speaking to you about things past, I’m speaking about love;
adorn your hair with the sun’s thorns,
dark girl;
the heart of the Scorpion has set,
the tyrant in man has fled,
and all the daughters of the sea, Nereids, Graeae,
hurry toward the shimmering of the rising goddess:
whoever has never loved will love,
in the light;
                      and you find yourself
in a large house with many windows open
running from room to room, not knowing from where to look out first,
because the pine trees will vanish, and the mirrored mountains, and the chirping of birds
the sea will empty, shattered glass, from north and south
your eyes will empty of the light of day
the way the cicadas all together suddenly fall silent.

                                          Poros, ‘Galini’, 31 October 1946
 
George Seferis (1900-1971): ’Thrush' , part III: The Light, (excerpt), Poros, 1946, translation by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard in Collected Poems, 1995

Το φως

Αγγελικό και μαύρο, φως,
γέλιο των κυμάτων στις δημοσιές του πόντου,
δακρυσμένο γέλιο,
σε βλέπει ο γέροντας ικέτης
πηγαίνοντας να δρασκελίσει τις αόρατες πλάκες
καθρεφτισμένο στο αίμα του
που γέννησε τον Ετεοκλή και τον Πολυνείκη.
Αγγελική και μαύρη, μέρα·
η γλυφή γέψη της γυναίκας που φαρμακώνει το φυλακισμένο
βγαίνει απ' το κύμα δροσερό κλωνάρι στολισμένο στάλες.
Τραγούδησε μικρή Αντιγόνη, τραγούδησε, τραγούδησε ...
δε σου μιλώ για περασμένα, μιλώ για την αγάπη·
στόλισε τα μαλλιά σου με τ' αγκάθια του ήλιου,
σκοτεινή κοπέλα·
η καρδιά του Σκορπιού βασίλεψε,
ο τύραννος μέσα απ' τον άνθρωπο έχει φύγει,
κι όλες οι κόρες του πόντου, Νηρηίδες, Γραίες
τρέχουν στα λαμπυρίσματα της αναδυομένης·
όποιος ποτέ του δεν αγάπησε θ' αγαπήσει,
στο φως· και είσαι
σ' ένα μεγάλο σπίτι με πολλά παράθυρα ανοιχτά
τρέχοντας από κάμαρα σε κάμαρα, δεν ξέροντας από πού να κοιτάξεις πρώτα,
γιατί θα φύγουν τα πεύκα και τα καθρεφτισμένα βουνά και το τιτίβισμα των πουλιών
θ' αδειάσει η θάλασσα, θρυμματισμένο γυαλί, από βοριά και νότο
θ' αδειάσουν τα μάτια σου απ' το φως της μέρας
πως σταματούν ξαφνικά κι όλα μαζί τα τζιτζίκια.

.............................................................Πόρος, "Γαλήνη,” 31 του Οχτώβρη 1946


The Light

Angelic and black, light,
laugh of the waves on the highways of the sea,
tearful laugh,
the old beggar sees you
going to stretch out on the invisible cobblestones
reflected in his blood
that bore Eteokles and Polyneices.
Angelic and black, day;
the brackish taste of the woman who poisoned the prisoner
out of the wave comes a dewy branch festooned with water droplets.
Sing little Antigone, sing, sing …
I won’t speak to you of the past, I speak of love;
adorn your hair with the thorns of the sun,
dark girl;
the heart of the Scorpion has set,
the tyrant within man has left,
and all the daughters of the sea, Nereids, Graiai
run into the sparkles of the setting sun;
whoever has never loved will love,
in the light; and you are
in a large house with many open windows
running from room to room, not knowing where to look first,
because the pines and the reflected mountains and the chirping of the birds
will all be gone
the sea will empty, a cracked mirror, from north and south
your eyes will empty of daylight
when suddenly and all together the cicadas fall silent.


George Seferis (1900-1971): ’Thrush' , part III: The Light, (excerpt), Poros, 1946, translation as given by Jennifer Kellogg in George Seferis and Homer's Light

migrants

Refugees on Lesvos: photo via Greek Reporter, 1 October 2015

Refugee Arrivals in Lesvos to Reach New Heights in October, After Record-Breaking September: A. Makris, Greek Reporter, 1 October 2015

Greek authorities warned that the arrivals of refugees and migrants in Lesvos, the island which has borne the brunt of the refugee crisis and where numbers reached new records in September, has still not peaked.

According to new data released by police, authorities in Lesvos recorded 73,179 arrivals in September alone, raising the total number from the start of the year to a whopping 186,720 –- a number equivalent to almost three times the number of residents on the island.

About 300,000 people have crossed into Greece since the start of 2015 and Lesvos has accepted the majority of these arrivals, they said.

A senior Coast Guard official told local radio station Aegean that October is the month when most arrivals have been recorded in the past few years and data so far show this “rule” will be verified this year. The same official said the deterioration of the situation in Syria and Afghanistan means that the waves of migration will continue undeterred.

October, authorities say, is the last month when refugees and migrants can cross the Aegean relatively safely before winter sets in, which means that hundreds of people presently staying in camps and streets in coastal Turkey will attempt to travel now.

Other officials said that in the last few days, 3,000 people arrive daily mostly to the northern shores of the swamped island, even during the downpours, while last Friday, authorities recorded a record-breaking 5,810 arrivals of refugees and migrants on the island in just 24 hours.

(source: ana-mpa)


Refugees and migrants arrive on the Greek island of Lesvos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey: image via Aris Messinis @ArisMessinis, 3 October 2015


Refugees and migrants arrive on the Greek island of Lesvos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey: image via Aris Messinis @ArisMessinis, 3 October 2015


Refugees and migrants arrive on the Greek island of Lesvos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey: image via Aris Messinis @ArisMessinis, 3 October 2015


Refugees and migrants arrive on the Greek island of Lesvos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey: image via Aris Messinis @ArisMessinis, 3 October 2015


Refugees and migrants arrive at the Greek island of Lesvos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey: image via Aris Messinis @ArisMessinis, 2 October 2015


Refugees and migrants arrive at the Greek island of Lesvos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey: image via Aris Messinis @ArisMessinis, 2 October 2015


Refugees and migrants arrive at the Greek island of Lesvos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey: image via Aris Messinis @ArisMessinis, 2 October 2015


Refugees and migrants arrive at the Greek island of Lesvos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey: image via Aris Messinis @ArisMessinis, 2 October 2015


Refugees and migrants arrive at the Greek island of Lesvos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey: image via Aris Messinis @ArisMessinis, 2 October 2015


Refugees and migrants arrive at the Greek island of Lesvos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey: image via Aris Messinis @ArisMessinis, 2 October 2015


Refugees and migrants arrive at the Greek island of Lesvos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey: image via Aris Messinis @ArisMessinis, 2 October 2015


Refugees and migrants arrive at the Greek island of Lesvos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey: image via Aris Messinis @ArisMessinis, 2 October 2015
 

Refugees and migrants arrive at the Greek island of Lesvos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey: image via Aris Messinis @ArisMessinis, 1 October 2015


Refugees and migrants arrive at the Greek island of Lesvos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey: image via Aris Messinis @ArisMessinis, 1 October 2015


Refugees and migrants arrive at the Greek island of Lesvos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey: image via Aris Messinis @ArisMessinis, 1 October 2015


Refugees and migrants arrive at the Greek island of Lesvos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey: image via Aris Messinis @ArisMessinis, 1 October 2015


Refugees and migrants arrive at the Greek island of Lesvos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey: image via Aris Messinis @ArisMessinis, 1 October 2015


Refugees and migrants arrive at the Greek island of Lesvos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey: image via Aris Messinis @ArisMessinis, 1 October 2015


 
Refugees and migrants arrive at the Greek island of Lesvos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey: image via Aris Messinis @ArisMessinis, 1 October 2015
 

 
Refugees and migrants arrive at the Greek island of Lesvos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey: image via Aris Messinis @ArisMessinis, 1 October 2015
 

Refugees and migrants arrive at the Greek island of Lesvos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey: image via Aris Messinis @ArisMessinis, 1 October 2015


Refugees and migrants arrive at the Greek island of Lesvos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey: image via Aris Messinis @ArisMessinis, 1 October 2015


Refugees and migrants reach the Greek island of Lesvos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey: image via Aris Messinis @ArisMessinis, 30 September 2015


Refugees and migrants reach the Greek island of Lesvos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey: image via Aris Messinis @ArisMessinis, 30 September 2015


Refugees and migrants reach the Greek island of Lesvos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey: image via Aris Messinis @ArisMessinis, 30 September 2015


Refugees and migrants reach the Greek island of Lesvos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey: image via Aris Messinis @ArisMessinis, 30 September 2015


Refugees and migrants reach the Greek island of Lesvos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey: image via Aris Messinis @ArisMessinis, 30 September 2015


Refugees and migrants arrive at the Greek island of Lesvos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey: image via Aris Messinis @ArisMessinis, 30 September 2015


Refugees and migrants arrive at the Greek island of Lesvos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey: image via Aris Messinis @ArisMessinis, 30 September 2015
 

Refugees and migrants arrive at the Greek island of Lesvos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey: image via Aris Messinis @ArisMessinis, 30 September 2015


Refugees and migrants arrive at the Greek island of Lesvos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey: image via Aris Messinis @ArisMessinis, 29 September 2015
 

Refugees and migrants arrive at the Greek island of Lesvos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey: image via Aris Messinis @ArisMessinis, 29 September 2015
 

Refugees and migrants arrive at the Greek island of Lesvos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey: image via Aris Messinis @ArisMessinis, 29 September 2015


A family arrives at the Greek island of Lesvos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey with boat: image via Aris Messinis @ArisMessinis, 28 September 2015


Refugees and migrants arrive with boats from Turkey to the Greek island of Lesvos: image via Aris Messinis @ArisMessinis, 28 September 2015


Refugees and migrants arrive with boats from Turkey to the Greek island of Lesvos: image via Aris Messinis @ArisMessinis, 28 September 2015
 

Refugees and migrants arrive with boats from Turkey to the Greek island of Lesvos: image via Aris Messinis @ArisMessinis, 28 September 2015
 

Refugees and migrants arrive with boats from Turkey to the Greek island of Lesvos: image via Aris Messinis @ArisMessinis, 28 September 2015
 

Refugees and migrants arrive with boats from Turkey to the Greek island of Lesvos: image via Aris Messinis @ArisMessinis, 28 September 2015
 

Refugees and migrants arrive with boats from Turkey to the Greek island of Lesvos: image via Aris Messinis @ArisMessinis, 28 September 2015


Refugees and migrants arrive with boats from Turkey to the Greek island of Lesvos: image via Aris Messinis @ArisMessinis, 28 September 2015

6 comments:

Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore said...

THERE’S AUDEN’S AND BRUEGEL’S ICARUS

There’s Auden’s and Bruegel’s Icarus
falling from the sky

to no one’s particular notice

a barely audible splashdown while the plowman plows and
the shepherd continues herding his sheep

going on about their day bright and
gray-skied as usual

so that our dramatic turns which in no way are
diminished in our eyes and that

use our own mortal bodies for their
dartboards

take place while the dressmaker in the shop
opposite cuts and pins as usual

and the broker on the tenth floor buys and
sells to most everyone’s advantage

and some folk are dragged off to a Mozartian
Hell by demons popping up through the

Opera House floorboards while

others are taken lightly by the hand invisibly by
angelic guides who lead through their

secret door to terraced extraterrestrial gardens

yet each blip and tremor however
shallow or deep in us is recorded and

by some strange way not entirely understood
decreed beforehand even in a kind of

déjà vu way that eternally intrigues most
theological savants

and my pain or disastrous medical pronouncement
earth-shattering and sky-opening in my

own particular cosmos

doesn’t perhaps affect the gardener happily
clipping hedges and

tending roses

nor the horseman who gallops past
in pursuit of Abraham Lincoln’s

soon-to-be-famous assassin
while a bootblack whistles the

same tune he whistles day after day
and a soon-to-be-married bride

turns sideways in a full length mirror
to check her brand new wedding dress

to be worn on the most
important day of her life
_____________________________________
4/15/14 (from The Sweet Enigma of it All,
The Ecstatic Exchange)
(written under Benadryl in chemo chair at
Lankenau Hospital in Philadelphia)

TC said...

William DeVaughn: Be Thankful for What You've Got

L'Enfant de la Haute Mer said...

Thank you so much Tom!!

Hazen said...

These photos seize the heart. Messinis literally plunges into that liminal moment, with all its emotional intensity, of crossing into another but still precarious and uncertain life, when everything might yet suddenly die away like the sound of cicadas.

TC said...

Hazen,

Yes, they are indeed small seizures, each with its ripples and tremors. Extraordinarily affecting, and unforgettable.

For me Aris Messinis is one of the several photographers who have made these tragic events real, for those of us who still attend, have eyes to see -- and yes, hearts to feel.

There's one sequence of three shots taken during heavy weather on 2 October in which a rubber boat is overturned in the high surf against the coastal rocks, and we see a woman first entirely submerged, then coming up gasping in panic, and finally "safe", though plainly cold, wet, scared and distraught.

To share in the photographic capture of these moments in all their intensity is to be immersed, through empathy with the living, along with those literally immersed, in the unfolding of history at its inarguable bedrock core.

The pictures here come from a week in which Messinis was there at the beach every day save one, a working man in the midst of a maelstrom, the tidal reflux of a war, a fluid, unpredictable situation demanding of attention, concentration and all the skills we are accustomed to regard as the tools of art, here dedicated to the witnessing of a reality more intense and complicated in this agonizing flow of moments than anything that might be encompassed by a passive term like "subject matter".

TC said...

(And when that woman is given a hand in emerging from the water, we see that it was not simply her own life that is at stake here -- essential detail, she has a small child...)