by Nikos Kranidiotis

Voice of the sea
Voice of the past
was heard.

Ship preserved by the waves
in the bay of the cherished island,
ancient tidings from the world of the Cyclades!
The inviolate craters of your hold
still give off Dionysiac perfume
to the depths of the ocean.

Your sailors, awake
for centuries now, emerge at night
in the starlight, in the full moon,
to stroll in the back alleys of Kyrenia.
They sit at the sea front,
drink wine, speak Greek,
laugh and exchange jokes with the moon,
as if nothing has intervened since,
blood, fire, dagger, ravage,
as if everything, peaceful, as of old,
with the old Gods
with the Archangel then opening his wings,
a golden eagle,
over the sublime church,
the Panaya Cryssopolitissa
walking, in her Sunday best
along the streets in mid-August,
and everybody congregating, in a cluster, dead and alive.

What a miracle, my God!
Greek hymn, full of light,
get dressed in the sun of the East
come to disperse the wild clouds,
to bring deliverance to our little town,
to deliver free to the open sea
the ancient ship, now incarcerated in the castle.


  1. Archangel is the cathedral of Kyrenia.
  2. Panaya Chryssopolitissa is the old, medieval church of the city.
  3. The ship was sailing from the Cyclades with a load of wine craters and other goods. It sank outside the port of Kyrenia. It was brought to the surface and with due care for its old age, was placed in a hall in the castle of Kyrenia, now under Turkish occupation.

Translation : C. E. Evangelides, Vice Rector of University of Athens