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    Nikos Tselepides New Member

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    (Note: MEMORIES II, the second part of this poem, is posted as another threadaslewhere here and is part of the same poem. I could not post all of it as the forum engine said it was too long, and I had to cut it in two pieces, but the poem is really one, and 20 sub-poems, and should be read in its entirely. Here you have parts 1-10 only)

    MEMORIES I

    1.

    Sea breeze

    southern wind from Libya
    come to our shores
    six weeks’ sailing, two storms weathered

    nearing home

    the sun

    in the center of the sky

    the radio dead

    the smell of fried fish

    and Diana’s hounds howling
    in the spring air


    2.

    And the litterati were all literate
    With perfumed clothes and feather pens
    They scribed down history-- most evenings
    They slept with the best girls in private rooms
    And resorted to secretive applications of humanity.
    On some days, we could hear singing as if of nymphs
    Whose needs had been satisfied at last.
    There was no Priapus despite the rumors
    Back on the ship, Lethe took us in hand
    And made us forget that particular part of the journey.


    3.

    Vladek Sheybal imitating the voices of
    Richard Burton and Dame Edith Evans
    At 5 o’clock in the morning on Hydra island
    In 1968. “Soon the cocks will crow
    And the sun will rise” he had said.
    My first ever trip alone, far from home.
    Richard Burton: “I told them I’d never divorce
    They wouldn’t believe me”. Dame Edith
    Evans: “How’s your cuppa tea ,dear?”
    Vladek was the actor in the James Bond
    Film, ‘From Russia with Love’, short
    With a pointed nose and Slavic features.
    His imitations were unforgettable.


    4.

    You will
    Won’t you remember those hills
    The way you looked at me as we turned, the full face
    The hair wild in the wind
    Was it spring or summer
    We smoked pot on the fields at night, looking
    At the full moon and the donkeys here and there
    You were working in the New York underground press
    I was engaged in resistance against the dictatorship
    Hold me, hold me, Sherry
    I am still in your arms today, 36 years later


    5.

    A blotch of green pasture
    Two blondes riding horses naked
    The swish of the tail of a lioness that has eaten
    And is ready for play and frolick
    And the unbelievable softness of the skin of a young girl
    I can feel how easy it is to hurt the heart that beats inside
    I vow never to harm it or sadden it
    In this dream it was not foggy, all was clear
    Like our eyes
    And the sky was O so blue


    6.

    Travel skills, cookery, literacy and numeracy
    Are taught through the efforts of men and women
    Working together nowadays, in front of computers
    And using hardware and software in college courses.

    It was natural in the old days to learn all these skills
    Through growing up and tradition, by the fireplace.
    I sit by the beach and paint water-colors.

    My wife is knitting next to me. Now and then
    We go for a swim. This is our relaxed learning environment
    And is of a level suitable to our individual needs.


    7.

    Untold
    the story

    the message is
    massage is good

    under certain conditions
    thirsty lips, small waist
    winter frozen cold
    us by the fireplace, the wine



    8.

    Sand, pebbles, seaweed.
    We’ve come this way to learn from small signs.


    A small crab moves 20 yards in so many minutes—
    “Unhurried jobs are the best,” he says.


    A sparrow examines the inner branches of the tree.
    “Sometimes treasure is hidden”


    I use pen and paper and take notes.
    “The mind forgets detail in time.”


    My friends look at me sideways.
    “Keep an eye on humans—they are
    more dangerous than animals.”


    Scavenging birds have left only the bones of a cat.
    “Clean up on the world, waste is usable.”


    Before sunset, we start back for home.
    “The sun is the center of our world.”



    9.

    When one writes about death
    no-one cares, they all want poems on sex and love
    and on happy events in general

    though I am not too sure love and sex are happy.
    Some of the time they are, other times not, and
    the happy poems I write are to please the young .

    In my own mind, angles and associations are different.
    For example, I am happy with the stars at night
    and thinking light is blue like your eyes, night is velvet like your skin

    or, cornered, saying that the edge of your nipples is perfumed
    the scar of your nails on my back is stawberry blood
    your next bite will take me far, to weird, electric places.

    My cat snores happily as her four kitten sleep and grow on her furry coat
    nothing will move her away from her offspring
    in two weeks, they have tripled in size, and I have shrunk
    moving closer to death by two weeks.
    Let it be, I have done what I have done all these years
    and good men and women I have met and been met by.

    Now, as spring knocks on our door again
    it is time to wrench the body and soul and unite them again
    for renewal, for the children, for the young, for us before death.



    10.
    It was sudden
    --the white island with the light blue church domes
    on the hills, clear water, golden sands

    we rounded the cape and came into the bay
    tied up by the old Barbarossa harbor and the ruins of the fort
    walked out, fresh souls on old ground, hit the bars
    and ate octopus, grilled, crisp, and tasty.

    The other boats had caught tons of fish, Egyptian sailors
    were mending the nets and drying laundry on the rigging.
    The first mate ran into a French Lesbian but had her anyway
    she squealed and skirmed and hissed and moaned all night
    but finally said it was excellent doing it this way.

    Nature is
    as nature dictates—contra naturam
    loses in the end.

    Sunday morning, to the sound of St. Nicholas’s churchbell
    we weighed anchor and sailed, lighter by a week’s wages
    wiser than a nun, and equallly verbose and unchaste


    Memories II continues HERE

    ==============

    March 16th, 2005
    Nikos Tselepides, Athens, Greece (this rewrite: 7th Feb. 2007)
    (This set of poems is still under revision and some parts may change).

    "But know in your human marrow you who read, that all you tread is earthquake rot and matter mental
    Trembling, freedom is a void, Peace war religion revolution
    Will not help"--Gary Snyder, Pulitzer Prize for Poetry










    Nikos Tselepides New Member

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    Perhaps this poem is too long for this forum?

    The author.
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    MsJacquiiC Poetica Magnifique

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    No - not too long, though I believe most are intimidated by such a huge work. I'm not though --- Anyway must have been asleep when you posted.

    Your poem IS long (I'm still wondering about the 2nd part though... There's a 2nd part?) At anyrate I think it needs something within each stanza that really connects the different memories perhaps. I'm not entirely sure what that would be, perhaps something that makes reference to the title or the events that transpired in early Greece as mentioned in the 1st stanza... Perhaps just a sentence at the end of each stanza that references Greece :)

    I really enjoyed it though - there are some really novel ideas - The 1st stanza really sets the tone lovelily - but I think it looses strength, as the references are so broad.

    Each stanza if read separately though --- as opposed to being part of a greater work --- reads quite nicely. I particularly liked the quoted exchange in the 8th stanza. Very unique and vivid imagery which I like to call vivdry! Really nice effect actually - but what has it to do with the Lake in Hades and the God that protects male genitalia?

    Anyway - You say it's still in editing ---- I think with a very tedious and succinct editing process this could possibly be one of the greatest poems ever written - It's novel - but the ideas need to come together more. So you won't have a poem with so many sections - but just a really eloquently stated poem. Just simply a "poem" --- You know what I mean. Very nice writing though. Enjoyed very much = Thanx for sharing!


    Jacquii.


    Posted By MsJacquiiC | Apr 3, 2007
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    Nikos Tselepides New Member

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    Many thanks for your comments, Jacquii.

    I see all the points you make clearly, and they are justified and normal reaction to this poem. They touch on connectivity between the stanzas, and go into the more obscure areas of Greek mythology references.

    The poem is part of a longer one, MEMORIES II, IN THIS FORUM, is the 2nd part.
    In essence it is memories from over 35 years of living and writing, randomly chosen and written, and unifying only in the field of my own perosnal experience. Being Greek and living in Greece means that one is constantly relating to the classics, mythology, the sea and similar realms which tug at your sleeve all the time here and beckon you. It is a peculiar situation all Greeks live with, and when it comes to poets, it finds its way into the poems--a great example being the Nobel Prize for Poetry winner George Seferis. A seach on his name in google will get all to read some of his work. His work is more apocryphal than mine is, and more secretive. I am more accessible.

    Of course, the best example of poems that do not connect is Ezra Pound's Cantos, and Pound is one my mentors and he has influenced me. Other examples are Kenneth Rexroth, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and the great Charles Olson. The connections are left up to the reader to create, thus moving to the modern art axiom and process of "having the reader fill in the missing image or words or parts"--a principle on which abstract art, esp. painting, works.

    Many thanks for your time and precious comments.
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    MsJacquiiC Poetica Magnifique

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    You're very welcome and though I don't know many of the poets you listed - I will certainly Google Seferis --- Google is my friend :twitcy: I will also take a look at the 2nd part.

    I wonder though - what you're working on in your editing process. Perhaps I can be of help?

    Thanx for the share though - I'm gonna go ahead and add the link to Memories II in your post as well.

    Jacquii.


    Posted By MsJacquiiC | Apr 3, 2007
    #5

    Nikos Tselepides New Member

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    Thanks Jacquii.

    I will summon you if I need some help.

    People should read first MEMORIES I and then MEMORIES II, and not vice versa.
    Do the links make that clear?

    Thanks again--much obliged.
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    PaintedDiary JPiC Mentor

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    Dear Nikos,

    Let me first apologize for taking so long to respond to this masterpiece. In my honesty, I will say that I was taken back by the length, and read small doses, but not in completion. I quickly found out that reading this piece like that did not do it justice, and offset the flow. I promised to come back and read it its entirety.

    Once engaged, it was extremely easy to continue as the contents lends itself to total capture from beginning to end. This poem is truly a classic and most memorable. Reminds me of the classic scribed by the giants before us. I am going to say that this is one of the most brilliant pieces, I have ever read. So much that, me saying, superb execution, beautiful flow, great imagery, and such, still does not describe this piece, and its impact. I will say, yes, it is quite exquisite, and golden words within a tapestry of a mind-set that takes the audience where they want to go, to find the connection.

    I also felt the need to have a tad bit more connection between stanzas, as to keep in alignment with what you want to convey, yet I enjoyed every bit of, as you say "having the reader fill in the missing image or words or parts". As I am a lover of Abstract art, and have painted abstract pieces myself.

    I did the Google search on Mr. George Seferis, and I love the poems "Sketches For A Summer", "Morning", and "the Mythistorema Poems", from what I saw so far. Thank you also for the info, as I love to be educated as well. I will go back to endure more, and read about the others. Thank you for sharing this with us Nikos, as it is truly brilliant.

    {{{~~**PAINTED**~~}}}

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