Santorini Poem

A poem about Santorini by the Greek poet George Seferis: Santorini is a magnificent island with a natural setting so beautiful that it almost looks like a dream. Beautiful villages with white houses, long sandy beaches with crystal clear waters, archaeological sites that reek of glorious history, the massive volcano, great food, and warm people make Santorini an experience of a lifetime. It is but natural that Santorini has inspired many over the ages, including philosophers and poets like George Seferis..

He was a poet, essayist, and diplomat, considered the most distinguished Greek poet of the pre-war (1930s). One of his poems, called Santorini- The naked child is dedicated to the island and goes as follows:

Santorini - The naked child

Bend if you can to the dark sea forgetting
the flute's sound on naked feet
that trod your sleep in the other, the sunken life.

Write if you can on your last shell
the day the place the name
and fling it into the sea so that it sinks.

We found ourselves naked on the pumice stone
watching the rising islands
watching the red islands sink
into their sleep, into our sleep.
Here we found ourselves naked, holding
the scales that tipped toward injustice.

The instep of power, unshadowed will, considered love,
projects that ripen in the midday sun,
the course of fate with a young hand
slapping the shoulder;
in the land that was scattered, that can't resist,
in the land that was once our land
the islands, -rust and ash- are sinking.

Altars destroyed
and friends have forgotten
leaves of the palm tree in the mud.

Let your hands go traveling if you can
here on time's curve with the ship
that touched the horizon.
When the dice struck the flagstone
when the lance struck the breast-plate
when the eye recognized the stranger
and love went dry
in punctured souls;
when looking around you see
feet harvested everywhere
dead hands everywhere
eyes darkened everywhere;
when you can't any longer choose
even the death you wanted as your own-
hearing a cry,
even the wolf's cry,
your due:
let your hands go traveling if you can
free yourself from unfaithful time
and sink-
So sinks whoever raises the great stones.