Joseph S. Josephides

(23rd of May,1948 / Larnaca, CYPRUS)

Greek Is Not Anyone Who Is Fool

Constantinople or Nova Roma or New Zion, whatever,
no Greek reigned it for eleven centuries only Athenian
Irene, the shadow of King Leo, she who distorted morals
who hanged images of saints on the walls of churches
and bodies, tongues, eyes of her rivals in gallows,
she who cut the life of his grandson, her son’s eyes
in Purpura palace hall, where she gave birth to him.

Blind son, you thought love would save you from her!
But she sent Maria as nun, grabbed Erythro from you.
You two ignored her, fell in love, sat on throne? So what!
Implicated you in scandals to rouse people and clergy,
she made you blind to grab the throne. God provided
Nikiforos; drove her away, cherishing you as his son.

But the Ecumenical Council of Nicaea had other opinion,
didn’t canonize her as iconolater so we don’t worship her,
her, who was called a wretched mother, intriguing, unable,
her, who broke the defense, offered the City to the Arabs.
I suppose only the iconolaters and chroniclers praise you!

Oh Irene, snake of forty cubits, self-destructed, alone you
pulled your eyes out, hung yourself on the History’s wood.
‘Greek is not any fool, malicious, maniac for bloody power’
Paparrigopoulos shouts in your tomb; even dead do listen.**

Submitted: Friday, January 24, 2014
Edited: Saturday, January 25, 2014

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

* Queen of Byzantium, Irene from Athens, was adversily criticized by Edward Gibbon, Charles Diehl, John Julius Norwich etc. Unlike she was praised by chronicler Gustave Schlumberger.

** Constantinos Paparrigopoulos, the famous writer who wrote the History of Greece and Byzantium which is considered as the continuation of the Greek Civilization and History, after Constantine the Great erected Constantinople rendering it as the capital of his eastern empire (330 AD) .


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