πατάνε το θάνατο τους

Jonathan

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In the same poem as my last post, this phrase occurs:-
Κι ορθοί ξανά και δυνατοί πατάν το θάνατο τους.
What quite does 'they trample on their death' mean? It has liturgical overtones for me δηλ. «Θανάτω θάνατον πατήσας». But the τους is odd. It is one thing 'to trample death with  death' but 'to trample on one's death' seems to have a different meaning.


billberg23

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Isn't this Ritsos' vision of the risen (ορθοί ξανά) dead who join the fight?  Full of strength, they tread contemptuously on death, as if their deaths were in their way to, or paved their way to, the front lines.  The ecclesiastical echo may be intentional, though slightly ironic.
The line reminds us of Ritsos' attitude toward heroic death, which is not death but resurrection, as in e.g. Romiosini Canto I:
all killed and no one dead,
their eyes are shining in the upper fastnesses.

and Canto IV:
Under the earth, between their crossed hands,
they hold the bell-rope.  They await the hour, they're not asleep,
they're waiting to announce the resurrection.  That soil
is theirs and ours:  no one can take it from us.

« Last Edit: 17 Sep, 2018, 02:09:39 by billberg23 »



Jonathan

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Thanks so much, Μπίλμπεργ23. All your suggestions are excellent and the links to Romiosini have particularly helped me. I am now on the last Canto of the Hymn & Lament and when I get stuck your notes help me to get going again. They spark off associations and get the 'creative juices' flowing again! The rhyme is unintentional!! I will send you a full copy as soon as I've finished.:) Your translation of Romiosini is inspired.
« Last Edit: 18 Sep, 2018, 01:00:10 by Jonathan »


 

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