Ayyappa Paniker

(12 September 1930 - 23 August 2006 / Kavalam, Kerala, India)

The Twilight Hour Keeps Playing On The Santoori - Poem by Ayyappa Paniker

The twilight hour keeps playing on the santoori,
O honey bride of Greece, tell me now your tale of love!

Olive branches sway and swing in the breeze
That reaches here, blowing across the Mediterranean,
And the breeze that tastes the green of the sprigs
May still have one more tale of love to tell,
And the sea is on the look out for waves of ears
To listen to the love tale of the honey bride of Greece.

Speak to us about your fancies born in the days
That faced the ups and downs in the love affairs
Of the earth's adolescence, long before we began
To measure the duration of time and distance.

Tell us the tale of how the wick of envy was kindled
Since the day you were wedded to the lord of Sparta,
You who were born as the daughter of Leda whom
The god of gods once ravished in the guise of a swan

Recount to us the old tales of illusory Helen,
Whom witless Paris carried off and heaped praises on.
Although the apple that he gave to Aphrodite
Grew into a war that lasted full ten years,

Dig up here, where the islands of grapes,
That pour forth wine afresh into the households
Where five thousand years bow down in homage,
Ripen again and in their epics and legends as well,
The islands, the islands, the islands of freedom
And goodness, the poets and the birds celebrate.

The twilight hour keeps playing on the santoori:
Tell us your tale of love, O honey bride of Greece!


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, September 6, 2012

Poem Edited: Friday, September 7, 2012


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