On Poetry and Culture Shock


To fit into the day's theme, here is a greek poem, anonymous but in Anacreon's style. Anacreon is one of the earliest authors of lyrical poetry in Western literature and he specialised in poems to erotism, partying and drinking. Sex 'n drugs 'n rock'n'roll indeed. I stle the Spanish translation, and the english one is mine.

Entretejía una vez una guirnalda
y hallé a Amor entre las rosas.
Por las alas lo atrapé,
lo eché en mi vino
y con él me lo bebí.

Y ahora en mi cuerpo aquí por dentro
siento las cosquillas de sus alas.
¿Por qué me enseñas tantas leyes
y argumentaciones de retórica?
¿Qué se me da de tanta verborrea
sin beneficio alguno?

Más bien enséñame a beber
el licor suave de Dionisio,
más bien enséñame a jugar
con Afrodita la dorada.

I weaved a garland once
and found Love among the roses.
I caught him by his wings,
threw him in my wine and drank him.

And now, deep inside me
I feel His tickling wings.
Why do you teach the the Law
and rhetorical argumentation?
What do I care for so many words
that I don't profit from?

I'd rather be taught how to drink
Dyonisus's gentle liquor,
I'd rather be taught how to play
with golden Aphrodite.

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