Nikiphóros Vrettákos

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Nikiphóros Vrettákos – 23 August 2008

Nikiphóros Vrettákos, one of Greece’s best-known poets, was born near Sparta in 1912. He published his first book in 1929, and twice won his country’s prestigious State Poetry Prize. His work was translated into several languages. Vrettákos died in 1991.

In his book Modern Greek Poetry, Kimon Friar writes: “Art for Vrettákos, therefore, must become the expression of love and goodness, because these form the beauty of civilization as a higher ordering of human relations….”

The Morning Skylark
By Nikiphóros Vrettákos
(1912–1991)

My spirit bursts in an azure torrent,
all the veins of my blood run in my voice,
my blood gurgles in the silence like crickets in the bushes,
like the river that never considers the number of its drops,
descending like a splendor or like a drunken kiss toward the sea.
Above me the worlds buzz on festive crossroads,
violet, rose, white, and azure rivers
rolling among stringed instruments, and the atmosphere shines.

Wheatstalks quiver with the silvery echoes of the universe.

Struck dumb, I listen to the friendly message of God
who asks me from the heart of light with all the mouths
of His angels to answer Him whether I am happy,
who asks me with the golden flutes of the sunbeams,
and I answer Him with His own light, which overbrimming
makes blue the larklike stream of my spirit.
Like a star between the light of the sun and of love,
fluttering in the high tree of His window,
I peck at the morning light and answer Him by whistling like the birds, without words.

For a large collection of poems and stories, visit:
http://www.all-creatures.org/poetrydir.html
 


"Joyful Curmudgeon"
An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.

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