21 March – International Poetry Day

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A Greek invention!

As a matter of fact, 22 years ago, the Greek poet Michael Mitras suggested to the Greek Writers’ Society the introduction of a day for the celebration of poetry. 21st of March, the day of the spring equinox, was selected.
In 2000, the famous writer Vas. Vasilikos, who was a Greece’s ambassador at UNESCO, suggested the international establishment of this day as the International Poetry Day. His suggestion was accepted.
We all know that many Greeks write poems, some of them are published, while some not. Maybe our language contributes to that, or maybe our climate. Maybe it is our long poetic tradition, which begins since the Homer’s time (13th century αιώνας BC).
Today, like every year, we celebrate the International Poetry Day at our school, by reciting poems together with our students and teachers.
Among the poems we chose was a spring rhythmic one, written by Kostis Palamas. The poem is titled “Hello roses and jasmines” and it has been turned into a song by Michael Terzis. Below you may find the lyrics of the poem, as well as the song which resulted from them.

Hello roses and jasmins

Lyrics: Kostis Palamas
Music: Michael Terzis

Γεια σας, τριαντάφυλλα
και γιασεμιά
στου βράχου φέρτε με
την κυκλαμιά

Πάει της καλύβας μου
το χελιδόνι
Του κάμπου δώστε μου την
την ανεμώνη

Πάει κι η λιογέννητη
Καλό στα σύννεφα
με το βοριά

Αϊ Γιώργης έφυγε
τ’ Απρίλη η χάρη
δόξα στ’ αδέρφι του
στον καβαλάρη

με τα’ άλογό του
περνά και είν’ έρωτας
το πρόσωπό του

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