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"Raven" - Poem




"Flow-song" for popular singer, choir and popular orchestra, composed from 7 to 10 January 1970, on a poem by George Seferis from 1937. Dedicated to the composer Yannis Christou who just died in a car accident.





Years like wings.
What does the motionless raven remember?
What do the dead the roots of trees remember?
Your hands had the colour of an apple ready to fall.
And that voice which always returns, that low voice.
Those who travel watch the sail and the stars,
they hear the wind they hear beyond the wind the other sea
like a closed shell near them, they don't hear
anything else, they don't look among the shadows of the cypresses;
for a lost face, a coin; they don't search,
watching a raven on a dry branch, for what it remembers.
It remains motionless just a little above my hours
like the soul of an eyeless statue.
There is a throng gathered in that bird;
thousands of people forgotten, wrinkles obliterated
broken embraces and laughter that has not ended,
works arrested, silent stations.
a heavy sleep of golden spangles.
It remains motionless. It gazes at my hours. What does it remember?
There are many wounds inside those invisible people, inside it,
suspended passions waiting for the Second Coming
humble desires cleaved upon the ground,
children slaughtered and women exhausted at dawn.
Who knows if it lies heavy on the dry branch,
if it lies heavy on the roots of the yellow tree, on the shoulders
of other men, these strange figures
sunk in the ground, not daring to touch even a drop of water?
Who knows if it lies heavy anywhere at all?
Your hands had the weight of hands in the water
in the sea caves, a light carefree weight
with that movement we make sometimes when we dismiss a black thought
by pushing the sea away to the horizon, to the islands.
The plain Is heavy after the rain; what remembers
that black static flame on the grey sky,
wedged between man and the memory of map,
between the wound and the hand which was wounded by a black lance.
The plain darkened drinking the rain, the wind dropped;
my own breath isn't enough; who will remove it?
Amidst the memory, a gulf - a startled breast
amidst the shadows struggling to become man and woman again
amidst sleep and death a stagnant life.
Your hands moved always towards the sea's drowsiness
caressing the dream that ascended the golden spider
bearing into the sun the host of constellations
the closed eyelids the closed wings...


Coritsa. Winter 1937
George Seferis


RAVEN, AST 198
for mezzo-soprano, flute, choir and orchestra
Composition: 7.-15.1.1970, Concentration Camp of Oropos
Movements.
1. Lento
2. Allgro moderato
3. Tempo primo
4. Lento
Creation: Kulturpalast Dresden (RDA)
Maria Dimitriadi, Kammerchor der Singakademie Dresden, Yannis Zotos, dir.: Mikis Theodorakis

RAVEN, AST 296
for mezzo-soprano, flute, harp and strings
Movements:
1. Adagio
2. In stesso tempo
3. In stesso tempo
4. Moderato
5. Meno mosso
6. Lento
7. Tempo I
Creation; 2.3.1994, Megaron Mousikis, Athens
Alexandra Paptziakou, Maria Makropodi (flute), Maria Bildea (harp), Ethiniki Symphoniki Orchistra ERT, dir.: Mikis Theodorakis





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