Friday, June 17, 2016

Carpe Diem #978 Greece

!! My excuses for this late publishing !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

After Finland, in the high north of Europe, our trip through Europe goes to the south of Europe. Today we are visiting Greece, a country with a very rich history, but I think that's something you all know. So I will not look at that rich history.

As haiku poets we are "one with nature" so I love to share the nature of Greece here with you all. Greece became a member of the European Union in 1981 and was the tenth country that became part of this united Europe. Okay let me give you a little resume of the rich history of Greece.

Greek flag

Greece has one of the longest histories of any country, and is considered the cradle of Western civilization, having been the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, the Olympic Games, Western literature, historiography, political science, major scientific and mathematical principles, and Western drama, including both tragedy and comedy. The Greeks were first unified under Philip of Macedon in the fourth century BC. His son Alexander the Great rapidly conquered much of the ancient world, spreading Greek culture and science from the eastern Mediterranean to the Indus River. Annexed by Rome in the second century BC, Greece became an integral part of the Roman Empire and its successor, the Byzantine Empire. The first century AD saw the establishment of the Greek Orthodox Church, which shaped the modern Greek identity and transmitted Greek traditions to the wider Orthodox World. Falling under Ottoman dominion in the mid-15th century, the modern nation state of Greece emerged in 1830 following a war of independence. Greece's rich historical legacy is reflected in large part by its 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, among the most in Europe and the world. 
rich heritage
Ulysses' adventures

© Chèvrefeuille

As an adolescent I admired Ulysses, I read his wonderful adventures and I remember that there was a TV series about his adventures. Really I was a "fan" of this adventurer.

Okay ... enough about the rich history of Greece let us "dive into" the nature of Greece. As I was doing research for this episode I ran into wonderful images of Greece's nature.

rolling thunder
between green banks
clear waterfall

© Chèvrefeuille

What a beautiful waterfall this is ... look at that clear water and those green banks ... the freshness of Mother Earth.

As I told you above I was a "fan" of Ulysses and I remeber that he visited several caves while he sailed the seven seas of the world. I found a wonderful image of one of those caves ... and I imagined that this could be one of the caves Ulysses visited, maybe this was the cave of the Cyclops ... you never know.

I feel like Ulysses
visiting the cave of  Cyclops -
caressing summer breeze

© Chèvrefeuille

Several countries have their own national flower, for example for us Dutch that's the Tulip. Greece has also its own national flower, Bear's Breech (Acanthus Mollis):

Bear's Breech (Acanthus Mollis)
fragile beauty
symbol of a rich history
Bear's Breech

© Chèvrefeuille

Awesome ... Greece's nature is really amazing. Will there also be amazing haiku poets? Let me introduce a few of them to you, just their haiku no biography this time. (Info found HERE)

το ένα σου μάτι
στο ποίημα· και τ’ άλλο
να σε δικάζει.
your one eye
stares at the poem and the other

youουρά παγωνιού
σε πισινό μαϊμούς
— τούτος ο κόσμος
a peacock’s tail
on a monkey’s arse
— this very world

© George Pavlopoulos (1924-2008)

γράφω και πάλι
τα πλην της απουσίας
στο μαύρο τζάμι
I write again
the minuses of my absence
on the black glass

© Elias Cephalas

A River Flows
χρόνια φευγάτη
ανάμεσα στα χέρια μας
ένα ποτάμι.

gone for years
between our hands
a river flows

© Tassos Corfis

μόνο ο καθρέφτης
να σε βλέπει αντέχει
δίχως να σπάει
only the mirror
can bear to see you
without breaking
© Giannis (John) Patilis

I hope I have inspired you with this episode about Greece. And now it is up to you ... have fun!

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until June 22nd at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our next episode, Hungary, later on.


  1. I totally loved the second one!

  2. Carpe Diem European Ginko #978 Greece:

    volcanic breath
    in an instant the forest of Lesvos
    turned to stone

    1. Well ... you know your classics. Nice haiku Joyce.