Everything naked around us,
everything naked hereabouts:
plains, mountains, high heaven.
It’s an unruly day.
Creation is transparent.
All the deep palaces are all open.
Drink your fill of light, eyes,
and you, guitars, of rhythm.
Here among the scattered
Ugly clumps of trees,
the world is wine, undiluted wine.
This is nakedness territory.
A shadow is a dream here.
A bright smile breaks on
even night’s dark mouth.
Here is riot, all tits out and
uninhibited: the dry rock a
star, the body a conflagration.
Here are rubies, pearls, coins of gold
and silver, distributed by your holy
nakedness, thrice-noble Attica!
Here the youngman is a magic spell,
flesh turned to god, each virginity
a Diana, each desire a fluttering boy.
Here, all naked, every second,
scandalising undersea society,
out pops Aphrodite, and starts
spilling things all over the place.
Clothes off, nakedness on.
You, soul, are its priestess.
You, body, are its temple.
Magnetise my hands to
You, amber of the flesh!
Give me to drink of Olympian
Nectar of nakedness!
Rip the shirt off, lose the ugly
dress, let your plastic form
blend in with Nature.
Belt undone, hands crossed over the
heart; your hair is a coronation
gown, trailing far behind you.
Become stress-free, a statue.
Art that shines in stone is perfect:
try it on, see how you like it.
Play, and act the part of
the nakedness of the idea,
quick beasts, reptiles, birds,
play, and act the part of pleasures,
of beauties, purify your nakedness,
The rounded, the completely smooth,
the furry, o lines, o curves, dance,
o divine shudderings, dance!
Forehead, eyes, waves,
hair, arsecheeks, loins, little
secret valleys, roses of Love,
myrtle bushes, hide-outs,
legs that shackle,
fountains of little strokes, o hands,
pigeons of desire, falcons of loss.
words, mouth, o mouth,
like the comb in the honey
or the red in the pomegranate.
The alabaster lilies,
all the paraphernalia of April,
are jealous of the wineglasses
of your breasts.
Mine’s a drink from the
rose-carved, the upstanding,
the enamelled, the milk
in which I dreamed of good times,
dreaming of you.
I am your soothsayer.
Your knees are altars.
In the fires of your embrace
gods work wonders.
Far from us everything ugly,
clothed and covered,
warped, badly shaped,
unclean and alien.
All be upstanding – unmasked,
no strings, earth, air, body,
breast. Truth is Nakedness
and Beauty is, too.
And if, in the nakedness, the
sun-beautiful Athens daylight
nakedness, you catch sight of
something like some unclothed freak,
something like a leafless tree,
not even the charm of a shadow,
an unworked stone,a thin dry body,
a thing naked and uncovered
in the wide open squares,
two burning eyes the only sign of life,
a thing that descends from the satyrs
and is wild, whose voice is silver,
don’t walk away. It’s me.
My name is Satyr. I am rooted
Like the olive hereabouts. That deep
music is me, making the winds sigh.
I play and they couple, they worship
and are worshipped, I play and they dance:
the humans,the animals,the ghosts.
from the Greek of Kostis Palamas (1859-1943)
The Poets' (c.1919) Painting by Georgios Roilos (1867-1928) oil on canvas
Ancient & Modern Hellenism
Mythology and Modern Psychology
- Nakedness routine