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I Cried Today

Updated on September 18, 2012

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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    • De Greek profile imageAUTHOR

      De Greek 

      7 years ago from UK

      Glad you liked it, child :-)

    • sunflowerbucky profile image

      sunflowerbucky 

      7 years ago from Small Town, USA

      Loved this! Thank you for sharing!

    • De Greek profile imageAUTHOR

      De Greek 

      7 years ago from UK

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

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      7 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 imageAUTHOR

      De Greek 

      7 years ago from UK

      Hi Lita,

      Good to see you again, Kid :-)

      Is it not wonderful how eternal parental love is?

      My best regards to you :-)

    • Lita C. Malicdem profile image

      Lita C. Malicdem 

      7 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 imageAUTHOR

      De Greek 

      7 years ago from UK

      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 ;-)

    • De Greek profile imageAUTHOR

      De Greek 

      7 years ago from UK

      Sashi Rao, thanks for passing by ;-)

    • De Greek profile imageAUTHOR

      De Greek 

      7 years ago from UK

      Hi brakel2, nice to meet you ;-)

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      7 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

    • profile image

      Sashi Rao 

      7 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.

    • brakel2 profile image

      Audrey Selig 

      7 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.

    • De Greek profile imageAUTHOR

      De Greek 

      7 years ago from UK

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

    • Shadesbreath profile image

      Shadesbreath 

      7 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 imageAUTHOR

      De Greek 

      7 years ago from UK

      Rochelle, thank YOU for being so kind :-)

    • De Greek profile imageAUTHOR

      De Greek 

      7 years ago from UK

      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? :-)

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      7 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.

    • Shadesbreath profile image

      Shadesbreath 

      7 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.

    • De Greek profile imageAUTHOR

      De Greek 

      7 years ago from UK

      How right you are, Kid!

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

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 

      7 years ago from Washington

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

    • De Greek profile imageAUTHOR

      De Greek 

      7 years ago from UK

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

    • christopheranton profile image

      Christopher Antony Meade 

      7 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.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 

      7 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?

    • De Greek profile imageAUTHOR

      De Greek 

      7 years ago from UK

      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. ;-)

    • De Greek profile imageAUTHOR

      De Greek 

      7 years ago from UK

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

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 

      7 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!

    • profile image

      kimberlyslyrics 

      7 years ago

      Life love and knowing is accepting

      Fabulous job

      Kimberly

    • De Greek profile imageAUTHOR

      De Greek 

      7 years ago from UK

      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 ;-)

    • randslam profile image

      Rand Zacharias 

      7 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 imageAUTHOR

      De Greek 

      7 years ago from UK

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

    • lorlie6 profile image

      Laurel Rogers 

      7 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 imageAUTHOR

      De Greek 

      7 years ago from UK

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

      Thanks for passing by :-)

    • De Greek profile imageAUTHOR

      De Greek 

      7 years ago from UK

      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 imageAUTHOR

      De Greek 

      7 years ago from UK

      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 imageAUTHOR

      De Greek 

      7 years ago from UK

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

    • De Greek profile imageAUTHOR

      De Greek 

      7 years ago from UK

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

    • bellawritter23 profile image

      Erica Sanchez 

      7 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

    • sligobay profile image

      sligobay 

      7 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.

    • Green Lotus profile image

      Hillary 

      7 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.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      7 years ago from London, UK

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

    • aguasilver profile image

      John Harper 

      7 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Thanks, I really savoured that!

      John

    • De Greek profile imageAUTHOR

      De Greek 

      7 years ago from UK

      My Hero!!!

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

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 

      7 years ago

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

    • De Greek profile imageAUTHOR

      De Greek 

      7 years ago from UK

      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.

    • De Greek profile imageAUTHOR

      De Greek 

      7 years ago from UK

      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 imageAUTHOR

      De Greek 

      7 years ago from UK

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

    • VioletSun profile image

      VioletSun 

      7 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. :)

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 

      7 years ago

      Magnificent and probably worth a few tears.

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 

      7 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.

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