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TESOL Macedonia-thrace
Northern greece
CONVENTION March 29-30
Thessaloniki
The seagull by Odysseas Elytis
On the crest of ...
From ' Travels in Greece' by Costas Ouranis
Free interpretation by C2 students
Daybreak on Mount Athos. Divine spring morn...
another passing by, slowly, like a whisper, in the vast grassy court. But it was as
if they hadn’t noticed our presence, o...
http://jopsarra.blogspot.gr/
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Copy of our presentation at TESOL Macedonia- Thrace Convention

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Copy of our presentation at TESOL Macedonia- Thrace Convention

  1. 1. TESOL Macedonia-thrace Northern greece CONVENTION March 29-30 Thessaloniki The seagull by Odysseas Elytis On the crest of the wave to sleep He lays his head of nothing afear'd Day in and day out As a gull, he goes about Of war he knows not Nor of knives, not God gave him seaweed , Colourful pebbles for every need. Alas, alas, in this our world Seaweed no smell ebbs sparkle not colourful pebbles Hoi polloi lurk, Look at you, not a word, All powerful to present And on the morrow Absent A free interpretation by George Raptopoulos “As much as you can” And even if you can’t turn your life as you wish At least try As much as you can; do not degrade it Among the crowds of people With all this commotion and talk Don’t humiliate it, dragging it along Taking it around and exposing this oftentimes To the daily silliness Of social relations and acquaints Till it becomes a tedious hanger-on. a free interpretation by B2 students
  2. 2. From ' Travels in Greece' by Costas Ouranis Free interpretation by C2 students Daybreak on Mount Athos. Divine spring morning The nightly hypnotic and mysterious atmosphere has dispelled, like mist. All is light, peace and kindness. Waveless, pure gold and infinite, beneath our feet, the Aegean.The sky, deep and azure. The slopes are all green, cheerful and dotted with wild flowers. No sound of life breaks the enchanted silence. Neither the clunk of sheepbell nor the ear-piercing doodle of the rooster can be heard. Stillness, outworldly. Fragrances only does the soothing morning breeze carry to the panoramic balcony of our guest room. Soaked in light, the great age-old monastery adds its own peace to the general peace. Most monks, exhausted by the all night vigil at church, will still be sleeping. Two or three dark shapes, motionless like perched crows on their wooden balconies suspended on the outer walls of the monastery, gazing at the luminous dream of the Archipelago. Light and peace. The vast inner court is totally void, desert-like. The stones glimmer in the sun and among them blades of grass. Not even a cat languidly stretching in the light, nor even a bird, swift-winged shadow dashing the luminescence. Centre- court the little byzantine church of brick-red walls and lead domes is closed and slumbering. At the Phial- the little octagon structure of white columns and the central marble font, where Epiphany waters are blessed- not a mere whisper of running water. Still even the tips of the two grand cypresses planted by St Athanasios, the founder of the monastery, 1,000 years ago. And yet, no melancholy in this ataraxia of everything. On the lead roofs of the old elements of the monastery, the weather has laid a golden tint - the flimsy wooden balconies of the cells, standing on lofts on the walls like pigeon holes, have pots with flowers and green festoons of vines, and from the decorative mauve bunches of grapes, the half faded murals in front of the ancient altar, where they dined in times long gone, compose bouquets of bright, cheerful colours. Nothing permeates that sadness of old things that decompose more and more with time. Not even those old tombs of the patriarchs and bishops of past times, in a far corner of the grassy court, under little arches, bear thoughts of death. The peace that soaked in the light, everything, was what, surpassing the pale rider, joins eternity. All the hours we spent in Lavra, the same tranquility, the same silence. Now and then, our attention was drawn by a monk coming out to rest at the dove-cote, or
  3. 3. another passing by, slowly, like a whisper, in the vast grassy court. But it was as if they hadn’t noticed our presence, or as if they didn’t care for it. Not a soul approached to talk to us, ask us about the world or life. It was not the regulation that obliged them- like in the monasteries of the white Benedictines, where on every wall , on all doors, everywhere, in big black letters the notice: “Silentio! Silence!” But it would be, I imagine, the complete indifference about the world, which they had abandoned for years and had burned every bridge. Living in a narrow cycle of age old religious forms , with their sole pastime the peaceful works of the soil, with the changes of the seasons around their monastery, the only events the deaths of their peers, it was natural they had been alienated from the life of others, their cares and their worries. Their thought would have gained the sluggish and trudgy walk of the mule tied to the drawing well, going endlessly around it. And even the prefects, though more wordly, had not felt the need – I recall- to ask us about anything on our arrival. We were led to the great hall of the guesthouse ( the arhondariki) to be offered a local treat and the welcoming coffee. They sat themselves, as serious as Roman senators, in a row of seats. They had us sit in another row across them; and after they were formally informed about our having had a good journey and the expected duration of our stay, they fell silent, content, and ended up stroking their patriarchal long beards, inspecting us like a doctor’s patients waiting at the antechamber for their turn do with those last to come. Then began for us the exquisite unraveling of the promontories, the coves, the slopes and the monasteries of this Athos’ side. One by one the monasteries of Karakalou, Filotheou, Iviron, Stavronikita, Pantokratora paraded in front of our eyes. Some at the tops of lush green hills, others on red and black cliffs of the coast and others near the sandy beaches of small picturesque bays. We would see their medieval towers, the lead domes, the countless balconies of their cells, the imposing castle walls – their white and endless peacefulness. They appeared like visions and faded behind the promontories – succeeded by other promontories. Different from each other in size and style, they encompassed the same drowsy lives, the same old manuscripts, the same byzantine murals, the same atmosphere of past. The petrol boat of Miaoulis glided for hours on the bright serene sea. Eventually, past the rideau of the last promontory, we saw a gulf opening, in its middle a crowd of red and lead roofs, domes, towers and walls; it was Vatopedi, the richest and grandest monastery of Mt. Athos. How to contact us George Raptopoulos Email: yorik57@gmail com https://www.facebook.com/ochendo.raptopoulos http://www.yorikman.blogspot.gr/ Georgia Psarra Email: jopsarra@gmail.com https://www.facebook.com/jo.a.psarra
  4. 4. http://jopsarra.blogspot.gr/

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