Artwork from the book - THE GRACE OF GREECE – Η Ελλάδα μου by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com
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Jan 2014
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Published Books

THE GRACE OF GREECE – Η Ελλάδα μου

by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo

Artwork: Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo

I love Greece.

To wander around like a butterfly

In the beautiful islands,
The cites, the streets, the markets.

To discover the grace everywhere

To smell and taste and feel.

To collect shells, leaves and small souvenirs.
To learn the music that fills the heart.

And most of all
To meet the wonderful people

That turn into  friends,

And they are the soul of

Η Ελλάδα μου.

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Artwork from the book - THE GRACE OF GREECE – Η Ελλάδα μου by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

Ελλάδα μου – My Hellas
I will learn your language

​I will learn to drink what you do​

​I will learn about ​Your Hellas heart

Your Alpha Omega

I will learn your rain

Your sea

Your sun

And all your gods

I will learn your music

Your dance

Your moon

And your wind

Your loneliness and

Joy

 

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I will learn your Escapes

And silence

Your hiding places

And your comforts.

I will learn all your

​Returns to me

​And my returns

To you.

 

Yet

The mysterious

Secret of my passion For you

Will remain

Unsolved.

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Artwork from the book - THE GRACE OF GREECE – Η Ελλάδα μου by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com
Artwork from the book - THE GRACE OF GREECE – Η Ελλάδα μου by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

Ελλάδα μου- 

Θα μάθω τη γλώσσα σου
Θα μάθω να πίνω
αυτό που παράγεις
Θα μάθω την Ελληνική καρδιά σου
Το άλφα και το ωμέγα σου
Θα μάθω τη βροχή σου
Τη θάλασσα
Τον ήλιο σου
Και όλους τους θεούς σου
Θα μάθω τη μουσική σου
Το χορό σου
Το φεγγάρι σου
Και τον άνεμό σου
Τη μοναξιά
Και τη χαρά σου

7

Θα μάθω τις διεξόδους
Και τη σιωπή σου
Τις κρυψώνες
και τις ανέσεις σου

a

Θα μάθω την επιστροφή σε μένα
Τον γυρισμό μου σε σένα.

a

Παρόλα
αυτά το μυστυριώδες
μυστικό του πάθους μου
για σένα
θα παραμείνει
ανεξήγητο.

a

*Μετάφραση στα Ελληνικά Dr. Ελπινίκη Φραγκούλη

8

Athens

Like a butterfly

 

Like a butterfly I wander

The streets of Athens

Between its heartbeats

The music and the smells

The ancient stones and the crystal beads.

 

Like a butterfly I collect the flavors

The colors of the bitter and the sweet

I pick them drop by drop

To keep them in my jar of memories.

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Artwork from the book - THE GRACE OF GREECE – Η Ελλάδα μου by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

Oμορφη Αθήνα – Athens 

Ermou street at night

 

While the city is still sleeping

Covered with its blanket

The street sweepers

Collect the falling leaves

Decorative ribbons, notes,

Bus tickets, Leftover balloons,

Cigarette butts, empty bottles

Sweets, Lost moments and heartbeats.

All the traces of the day just past.

Soon a new morning will rise

Beautiful and sparkling

With the new promises

Mirrored in the windows.

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Artwork from the book - THE GRACE OF GREECE – Η Ελλάδα μου by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

Cloudy Athens

 

Athens today is

Cloudy and quiet.

The oranges on the trees

Of the National Park

Are the only illumination.

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Artwork from the book - THE GRACE OF GREECE – Η Ελλάδα μου by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

Athens

 

Near the glory

 

Near the glory of the Acropolis columns

A barefoot city is walking around

In its squares

Gray pigeons fight for bread crumbs

And the angel of music asks for pennies.

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Artwork from the book - THE GRACE OF GREECE – Η Ελλάδα μου by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

December in Athens

 

December in Athens-

This whole city is illuminated

By the stars of both

Heaven and earth.

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Artwork from the book - THE GRACE OF GREECE – Η Ελλάδα μου by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

Athens

In a small coffee house

 

In a small coffee house

In a distant town

The cinnamon sticks

Glow with a sweet scent.

Let’s push aside the veil of clouds

Open the winter notebooks

And draw the drops

Across the window pane

The rain will smile

When your hand touches mine

Only you and I will know.

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Artwork from the book - THE GRACE OF GREECE – Η Ελλάδα μου by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

Athens

Σοκολάτα – Sokolata

 

In the chocolate shoppe

The scents of a far-off country

Are wrapped in colored boxes

Soon they will turn into

Moments of sweet and bitter

Melting in midday.

As Keti conjures up

Her chocolate potion,

From the cocoa beans of the rain forest

One taste is enough to

Send your clouds away.

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Artwork from the book - THE GRACE OF GREECE – Η Ελλάδα μου by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

Athens

The Acropolis and the gulls

The Acropolis

Calls the gulls

To dance for him

And please him

They are

Circling around

Like a

A bouquet of white flowers on his head

The light rises

Among the fluffy clouds

And wounds

The heart

To See all these

God,

how much beauty!

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Artwork from the book - THE GRACE OF GREECE – Η Ελλάδα μου by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

The Acropolis

 

Up on the mountains every night

The proud Acropolis stands

With a triumphant look on its face.

The lights gathering round

Dress  him in a royal gown

He shakes off his daylight  dust and woes

Wakes up in the moon light

Stretches his body and opens the doors

To welcome the Gods of Greece.

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Artwork from the book - THE GRACE OF GREECE – Η Ελλάδα μου by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

To my dear friend, the artis Katerina Tsamis

Katerina

 

Katerina,

Let me walk among

Your Turquoise hills

Between the candy houses

That spread their bright beauty

Through

A child’s eyes

Creating a world

Where the moon

Is above my bedroom

And the sun

Defeats the clouds.

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Artwork from the book - THE GRACE OF GREECE – Η Ελλάδα μου by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

To my dear friend, the poet Maria Skoula

Maria                    

 

She looked into my eyes

And she saw the river

Though I didn’t let it flow.

A few words on the phone

And she heard

The ones

I didn’t say.

“Why are you sad?”, she asked,

Her voice softened

Like silk.

“I don’t want to leave Athens”, I said.

“Don’t  worry”, she said,

“You will come again,

And again.”

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Artwork from the book - THE GRACE OF GREECE – Η Ελλάδα μου by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

The seagulls of Thessaloniki

 

The seagulls of Thessaloniki

Dance their waltz

As soft  waves

The velvet sea opens a

Dark blue dance floor

For them.

Even the skies bend down to see

And they open their pockets

To drop silver stars

On their wings.

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Artwork from the book - THE GRACE OF GREECE – Η Ελλάδα μου by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

Foggy Thessaloniki

 

When Thessaloniki opens her foggy eyes

The doves pass over

Like white tears

They fall among last night’s Christmas lights

To the awakening dawn.

 

*Photo by Baruch  Peled

 

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Artwork from the book - THE GRACE OF GREECE – Η Ελλάδα μου by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

The season of December in Thessaloniki

 

Juicy and ripe

The lights are hanging

Like a thousand fruits

Laden

On the green branches.

The trees bear them happily

It’s the season of December,

Their time to bloom.

 

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Artwork from the book - THE GRACE OF GREECE – Η Ελλάδα μου by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

Christmas morning in Thessaloniki

 

The boulevard of the bitter orange trees

Stands like a line of statues

No wind caresses their cheeks.

All the sweet candies are locked in the stores

Out of reach

The streets are empty and quiet from steps

The music is sleeping

And the shattered windows keep the night on.

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Artwork from the book - THE GRACE OF GREECE – Η Ελλάδα μου by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

Thessaloniki

The doves of the White Tower

 

The doves surround the big White Tower

Spreading their grey marks on the walls

With their brush wings

 

Singing around

As a choir of angels,

Praying

All day long.

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Artwork from the book - THE GRACE OF GREECE – Η Ελλάδα μου by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

Thessaloniki

Gulls made love

 

Gulls made love

On the water

I heard the sea

Pass gently

Between them

Even the surrounding sands

Held off the while.

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Artwork from the book - THE GRACE OF GREECE – Η Ελλάδα μου by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

 Crete

 

The Ladle Man

 

Turning on his axis of time

With wrought iron motions

His face transfixed as in a distant photograph

He takes the wood in hand

And ploughs it into soup ladles,

Stirring the rhythm and colors of life.

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Artwork from the book - THE GRACE OF GREECE – Η Ελλάδα μου by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

Crete

 

Supermodel

                                                   

Atop her Ferari,

Between the hills rising from Lefka Ori,

Laden with odors of wild herbs,

No one can compete with her

when she smiles

Spinning her beauty like a web until

You are spellbound.

 

                                             

 

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Artwork from the book - THE GRACE OF GREECE – Η Ελλάδα μου by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

Crete

Anogeia

 

Village The Weavers

 

She dons black

Spinning

the life of garden and birds,

Mourning and evening

Weaving hues into mats

For the soles of foreigners.

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Artwork from the book - THE GRACE OF GREECE – Η Ελλάδα μου by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

Crete

 

The Pig

 

The holiday pig, decorated,

Heads the procession

Through  town.

Hearty, immaculate, smooth and pink,

Freed of the swamp of life,

Soon to alight on

Goblet-studded festive tables

Its meat succulent and tender

Served in porcelain plates.

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Artwork from the book - THE GRACE OF GREECE – Η Ελλάδα μου by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

Crete

 

The Spice Lady

 

She gathers grasses and herbs

From field and hills,

Ties them into miracles

Bound in small nylon bags.

Her wise, ancient visage

And mountainous tongue

Promise you

Long life,

Eternal grace.

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Artwork from the book - THE GRACE OF GREECE – Η Ελλάδα μου by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

 

Gods created Rhodes                                                                                                  

Gods

Created Rhodes

Surrounded it with iridescent blue waters,

Filled out its curves with sparkling green,

And  kissed its face with hues of peach.

They brought down the Goddess of music,

Placed a bouzouki in her hands,

And gave her the voice of the wind

And rain And sea

And heart,

And commanded her

To sing.

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Artwork from the book - THE GRACE OF GREECE – Η Ελλάδα μου by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

Rhodes

 

On the Mountaintop

I stood between the glorious marble columns

And  Aegean Sea

 

The Gods of past are resting now

They cannot alter history

 

The restless sea

Pours heartbeats into endless bits

Of light turquoise.

 

I stood between the marble and the waves

Eternity and life

And worshipped both.

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Artwork from the book - THE GRACE OF GREECE – Η Ελλάδα μου by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

ΤΑ ΡΕΜΠΕΤΙΚΑ

Yiannis sings Rempetika

 

He sits

Wrapped up in himself

His eyes are closed

As he draws the music-

The rain of his soul,

From the depths of his heart

To drip down

Tear

By tear.

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Artwork from the book - THE GRACE OF GREECE – Η Ελλάδα μου by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

Rhodes

 

Memories

Memories in my hand

Like the pebbles

Of the sea

That I collected

My fingers are still wet

And blue

From the turquoise waves

Which touched

The sea that opened

In my heart.

I still stand bewitched,

By the shells, the corals and the stars

That pulled me into depths

The likes of which I’ll never know.

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Artwork from the book - THE GRACE OF GREECE – Η Ελλάδα μου by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

DANCING WITH THE GODS OF GREECE

Poseidon

 

Poseidon

Smiles at me

From his turquoise ocean

He bares his muscular torso

Bronzed by the summer

He knows that I will give myself to him

Any time he desires

All the blue words

Swim around

In my head

For him

I would be

A small mermaid

Or even a goldfish

If only I could

Drown each dawn

In the turquoise of his eyes.

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Artwork from the book - THE GRACE OF GREECE – Η Ελλάδα μου by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

Dionysus

 

After

Three cups of wine

I found out Dionysus

The god of wine.

He brought me a

Gift wrapped in cellophane,

Non-refundable

New moon.

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Artwork from the book - THE GRACE OF GREECE – Η Ελλάδα μου by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

Those flowers    

 

Those flowers you scattered

All over my head

On one summer night

Were signs of the dawn,

You woke up the legend.

Your eyes dressed me up

In the beauty and light

While I lay there in slumber

And honey poured out of

The tree of delight.

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Artwork from the book - THE GRACE OF GREECE – Η Ελλάδα μου by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

The Bouzouki

 

Tonight

I’ll go back to the Market

Searching for the  Music.

My Greek heart is a

Prisoner of love in the Bouzouki hands

Forgetting everything

And dances

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Artwork from the book - THE GRACE OF GREECE – Η Ελλάδα μου by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

After celebrating

 

After celebrating with the gods

After they brewed me honey and wine

After they blessed me with their music

Danced with me the whole night

Spun my head

And filled my heart with rain and light

I carefully fold

The wings of gold which

they gave me

And slowly descend

The Olympus.

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Artwork from the book - THE GRACE OF GREECE – Η Ελλάδα μου by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

 

THE GRACE OF GREECE – Η Ελλάδα μου

 

written and photos

by  Shulamit Sapir-Nevo

 

Translation by Mel Rosenberg

 

Σας ευχαριστώ πολυ  αγαπητοί μου φίλοι.

🙂

 

2014

All Rights Reserved

©

 

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Artwork from the book - THE GRACE OF GREECE – Η Ελλάδα μου by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

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