I Cried Today

Our humanity will save us

I have cried today.

I don’t often do that, but today I came across the words of someone who has been dead for 2600 years and yet I have recognized the voice. I have recognized it even though I have never heard it before. The voice of a gifted human being.

The voice of a woman, a mother speaking to her daughter:

Sleep, darling

I have a small

daughter called

Cleis, who is

like a golden

flower

I wouldn't take

all Croesus'

kingdom with love

thrown in, for her.....

And the same mother, black haired, explains to her blonde daughter about fashion:

Don't ask me what to wear

I have no embroidered

headband from Sardis to

give you, Cleis, such as

I wore

and my mother

always said that in her

day a purple ribbon

looped in the hair was thought

to be high style indeed

but we were dark:

a girl

whose hair is yellower than

torchlight should wear no

headdress but fresh flowers

And the same mother speaking to her own mother:

It's no use

Mother dear, I

can't finish my weaving

You may blame Aphrodite

soft as she is

she has almost

killed me with

love for that boy

A woman of truth:

We know this much

Death is an evil;

we have the gods'

word for it; they too

would die if death

were a good thing

And the same woman in love:

He seems to me the equal of the gods,

the man who sits facing you

and, near you, listens to

your charming voice

and your alluring laugh that makes

my heart flutter in my breast.


When I see you, even briefly, then

I cannot speak,

but my tongue is silenced; a slender

flame slips suddenly beneath my flesh;

my eyes see nothing, my ears

are roaring,

sweat drenches me, trembling

seizes my entire body, I am paler

than grass, and I seem almost dead.


But I must endure, since....

The voice I came across today and recognized for its humanity was the voice of Sappho.

Dimitris Mita

De Greek

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Comments 49 comments

Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

So beautiful Dimi, don't cry! This could have been written yesterday.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 5 years ago

Magnificent and probably worth a few tears.


VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

I had chills and still do, especially the last one where she speaks about love. There is nothing that touches me more than beings who live with a depth for life. Good to see you! Must write a hub myself one of these days. :)


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Hi Raye, how right you are. These words could have been writtten yesterday. How is such a thing possible?


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

breakfastpop, I just cannot get over how natural she sounds. It's like she is speaking right there in fron of one. 'It's no use Mother dear, I can't finish my weaving' .... how wonderful is that?


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Marie, somehow the last poem is so natural, even though she is obviously speaking to a woman. One ignores the connection and simply enjoys her words. No wonder she has survived through the millennia.


Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 5 years ago from India

The things I do for a friend - even if it means reading verse!! :D


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

My Hero!!!

Hi FP. Don't tell me that this is not impressive? And it doesn't really feel like poetry ;-)


aguasilver profile image

aguasilver 5 years ago from Malaga, Spain

Thanks, I really savoured that!

John


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

I think this amazing because it could be so true today. Thank you for bringing to our attention.


Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

This is poetry that speaks clearly from the heart - no double meanings, no esoteric rhetoric. I love it - thanks for sharing the timeless beauty and the wisdom.


sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator

Woman is constancy through space and time. The things which move a woman have been repeatedly revealed to men and we men stll choose not to hear the simple message of life and love. Thank you.


bellawritter23 profile image

bellawritter23 5 years ago from California

Wow, I think that woman are far most the most beautiful creature that walks this planet. We can hit every emotion in 60 seconds. I agree with Sligo. This was truly fabulous...

smiles :)

bella


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

aguasilver, it was a shock for me to read such words which might have been written yesterday. Thanks for passing by :-)


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Hello, hello, - that's just it. It is so narural and so applicable to today. ;-)


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Friend Hillary, this was the first time I have read something of hers and the power in the simplicity of her poetry shocked me. It is so HUMAN! And of course seeming to be so contemporary...


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

sligobay, you are so right. On one hand we adore the little darlings, yet we rarely make the effort to understand them :-)


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

bellawritter23, nice to meet you. And I agree with completely :-).

Thanks for passing by :-)


lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 5 years ago from Bishop, Ca

This is stunning in its simplicity, its reality. Any woman could relate to these 'vignettes' and be touched. Thank you, Dimi.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

lorlie6, I know what you mean. Personally I was shocked at the simplicity and the effectiveness of it all...


randslam profile image

randslam 5 years ago from Kelowna, British Columbia

Thanks, Dimi, the Greeks always have the simplest manner of cutting straight to the point--it's the sharpest knife that makes the stabbing of one's heart so purely delightful.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Hi there randslam, thank you for your kind words. But there are some people who have so much talent that they seem to be able to transcend race and they are simply HUMAN. Shakespeare was one of them, if you know what I mean :-)

Good to see you again ;-)


kimberlyslyrics 5 years ago

Life love and knowing is accepting

Fabulous job

Kimberly


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Ah, Dimitris - a true jewel. Her poetry expresses timeless experience and feelings from the heart of a woman in what is truly unpretentious 'free verse'. I can imagine the mothers and daughters on a white veranda overlooking the sapphire blue of Grecian sea and feel transported by a feeling of human kinship which evaporates all those millennia between.

Thank you for reminding us of Sappho! It inspires me to read more of her work. You surely must understand, to have felt it so deeply as to shed a few tears. And how good it is to see you writing here!


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Hi Kimberly, she is so very impressive, is she not? Thanks for passing by. :-)


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Hi there Nellieanna, how are you kid? To my shame I have never read anything of hers before and it was a fluke coming across the poems I read. The simplicity of it!

It's no use

Mother dear, I

can't finish my weaving

You may blame Aphrodite

soft as she is

she has almost

killed me with

love for that boy

THAT really got to me. 2600 years just evaporated and she ws there.

Simply astounding.

I wasen't planning to write anything here for the next three months or so, but I suddenly wanted to write this.

Thanks for passing by. ;-)


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Ah, I'm so glad you did take time to and that you wanted to write this, Dimitris. How good it is to pause to write about what touches one's heart.

Yes, yes - it is astounding. That's the perfect word for it. How great it is to realize the kinship of the human spirit in all times and places!

My acquaintance with Sappho has been sketchy, at best, but I was aware that she was among the first ever women in history to write poetry & that she was regarded as some kind of a priestess in ancient Greece. I simply had not really read her work! Now I know I'll be reading more of it. She may take her place as one of my muses, along with Emily Dickinson and Jane Austen! Maybe she was one of theirs too! :-)

I'm fine, too - thank you for asking! And you?


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 5 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

Beautiful poetry, beautifully presented, that reconnects us with that golden age long ago, and shows us that we are not that different really ourselves.

Thanks for showing us that.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Thank you Christopher. I was so impressed by what I read taht I decided to come out of Hubpages semi retirement just for that :-)


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon

I guess that proves that good writing can endure forever and still move us.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

How right you are, Kid!

I hope that you, the hubby, the children andthe dogs are doing well :-))


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California

Oh, I LOVE the death one. Man. F--- I enjoy really deep and precise writing like that. A treasure you shared here.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

The poetry is sublime but it sometimes takes the subtle pointers you provided to get modern minds to a place of appreciation.

Thank you for the sharing, and for the enlightenment.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

John, so much talent in others sometimes frightens me. It makes realize how limited I am :-)

Oh, and I am inclined to write something about Oscar Wilde which will go so much against the norm that it is bound to raise objections. I hope you will look at it and tell me what you think? :-)


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Rochelle, thank YOU for being so kind :-)


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California

Do it; write that. I'll happily take a peek at it and pipe in my two cents. I'm actually working on an homage to him right now too.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

A homage mine is not!!! :-)))))


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 5 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

What a lovely poem and all about different people. How rare. I was following someone who followed you so here I am at your hub. Thanks for sharing. I want to read more. Happy writing.


Sashi Rao 5 years ago

Thanks for sharing these touching words with the world, they are reminding us to think, Humans have forgotten basic essentials and running behind worthless things. We are on the verge of further collapse. Mother and Love.... always makes me Cry... Lovely poem.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

Hi, amazing how people have changed, and yet stayed the same, sometimes something like this can bring them all back to life, we see them as people instead of history, as Conn Igulden the great writer says, History isn't just dust and dirt, it is about people who are real, but are not alive now, and its so true, cheers nell


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Hi brakel2, nice to meet you ;-)


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Sashi Rao, thanks for passing by ;-)


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Nell Rose, I haven't been by to see you for some time, but I am now semi retired from Hubpages, trying to write my book. I hope taht all is well with you and thanks for reading this ;-)


Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 5 years ago from Philippines

This mother-daughter episode may have happened before we were born but its relevance is eternal.I wouldn't have known about Sappho but you make her voice to humanity ring loud and clear here. It reminds me of my own mother who never ran out of words whispered in my ears as a child. Their untold meanings still haunt me today.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Hi Lita,

Good to see you again, Kid :-)

Is it not wonderful how eternal parental love is?

My best regards to you :-)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

Thank you, brother, for sharing the voice of Sappho with us. I enjoyed this treasure trove of prose. Now, dry those eyes.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Hi James, I am such a cry baby! ;-))))


sunflowerbucky profile image

sunflowerbucky 5 years ago from Small Town, USA

Loved this! Thank you for sharing!


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Glad you liked it, child :-)

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