A simple Russian comprehension with related activities

www.youtube.com/watch

If you wish to watch and listen to the worlds most expressive Russian check out the above video. It’s a simple story with questions afterwards. There are subtitles to help you out as well as pictures and his actions.

Best wishes

Angela

Andreas Kalvos Greek poet 1792-1869

He was a major part of the Heptanese school of literature along with his fellow Zakynthoan Dionysios Solomos However the 2 never met and there is also no known picture of Andreas Kalvos.

He was a wayward soul hence he wasn’t recognised in his hometown and country until much later. He traveled widely through Greece and Europe having many affairs, marrying a couple of times and producing a couple although they often died shortly afterwards. Thus his life was full of sadness which powered his poetry.

He also taught Italian and Greek to help finance his restless nature. His become disgruntled with his family and his patron which led to his inability to settle anywhere for any length of time. He was constantly moving in search of something he couldn’t quite get.

Since he died in England it wasn’t until 1960 when George Seferis was the Greek ambassador that he arranged for the body of Andreas Kalvos to be returned to his native Zakynthos.

He is part of my series on Greek poets.

For a look at my other work see here Series links.

Best wishes

Angela

Dionysios Solomos Greek poet 1798-1857

Dionysios Solomos introducing a George Seferis chapter
Dionysios Solomos introducing a George Seferis chapter

He is considered the principal poet of the Heptanese school of poetry of which he was part of yet this set contained amongst others Aristotle Valaoritis, Ioannis Zampelios Spiridon Zampelios and Andreas Kalvos.

The reasoning for this is that Dionysios’s education on Zakynthos had been in Classical Greek and when he lived in Italy, Italian. When he tried to write in a more modern form (Dimotiki) it was extremely difficult for him as there were no poems to act as a reference since they were previously in Katharevousa. Therefore, he had to create a whole catalogue by himself.

It was himself that started the poetic revolution that questioned what version of the Greek language that people write in compared with how they talk. In typical Greek fashion this was only resolved in the 1970’s. So for approx 150 years they were unable to decide which should be the official versions.

Even Byron perhaps did not have that much effect on the Greek people although he did influence Dionysios. As usual this is not always corroborated by all the sites I have read but since people of similiar minds all tend to congregate in the same place he probably did have have an effect on him.

For perhaps a more authentic take and some clarity read this Dionysios Solomos.

He is part of my series on Greek poets.

Aristotle Valaoritis

Ioannis Zampelios

Spiridon Zampelios

Andreas Kalvos

For a look at my other work see here Series links.

Best wishes

Angela

Heptanese school of literature

Heptanese School of literature.

This was the school of literature that Aristotle Valaoritis belonged to as well as Ioannis Zampelios who are very famous Lefkádian poets. Andreas Kalvos and Dionysios Solomos are in there too. The articles written about this school will tend to focus on people known to that locality ie you come across ones written from the view of a person from Zakynthos as Dionysios Solomos was from there and this one is written from the perspective of a Lefkadian since that’s where I am. Hence I mentioned Valaoritis first where usually you would see a note about pre Solomos, Solomos, and post Solomos poets.

The Heptanese school is characterised by a love of nature, freedom and homeland with reference to the role that religion played in their lives. It was also folkloreish in content and often romantized life in a way only poetry can taking inspiration from Italy. They were written in Dimotiki or Demotic as apposed to Katharevousa which is to say its written in the common Greek that was spoken as opposed to the posher, purist form which was a simplication of Ancient Greek that was used for formal, business occasions.

As I have already written ample amounts about the Lefkadian poets and I have never been to Zakynthos I can’t tell you much more as that’s the real centre of this particular movement.

For information on the other schools of thought see here

  • Series links contains the rest of my work like all of the poets mentioned above and more.
  • Best wishes

    Angela

    Festivals held in Lefkás

    There is a long history of art festivals in Lefkás dating back to the 1st and 2nd Delphic festivals in Lefkás in the 1920’s.

    We then got the Speech and Art festival in 1955. After this the organiser Antonis Tzevelekis came up with the International Folklore Festival. This started in 1962 and is now held every August. Initially it had only 3 countries but has now blossomed to hundreds of thousands of participants each and every year.

    Cultural festival rundown
    Cultural festival rundown

    In the above picture it notes that Maria Callas turned up in 1964 to help kick the celebrations off.

    It also mentions that in 1995 the then president of the Greek parliament Apostolis Kaklamanis who was himself a Lefkádian was attending.

    The organiser Antonis Tzevelekis was himself commemorated when he died in 1989 after 30 years of dedicated to the cause. He also has a street and a square dedicated to himself in Lefkás town but I’m yet to come across a statue of his.

    In the Cultural centre in Lefkás town there is a floor that contains all sorts of information about the yearly folklore festival. It costs a € to enter but you won’t know this until you open the door and someone comes rushing forward to tell you.

    It’s worth it though as you get to see musical instruments from past participating countries as well as national costumes and dolls.

    A traditional ladies festive costume
    A traditional ladies festive costume
    A traditional ladies bridal costume
    A traditional ladies bridal costume

    You can even try them on (not the above ones but a special selection provided for you.) But I didn’t get the feeling that was a good idea despite the empty changing room and available full length mirror. You get the idea your trespassing during the whole cultural centre not just the upper floor as it’s so empty. It feels abandoned despite it being open, staffed and well maintained.

    There is also a room full of objects belonging to Antonis Tzevelekis and these phrases which are not translated but tell you about his life. An excerpt from 60 years worth of Lefkádian Art

    An excerpt from 60 years of Lefkádian art
    Another excerpt from 60 years of Lefkádian art
    Another excerpt from 60 years of Lefkádian art

    There is of course the Mardi Gras festival they have every year to celebrate the beginning of Lent. The costumes always look fantastic from the pictures friends put online and compare to festivals I have been to like Pirates Week and Batabano in the Cayman Islands as well as Notting Hill carnival in London.

    The celebrations in New Orleans, the Canary Islands and Rio de Janeiro are similar I believe as there all for the same reason.

    Since I’m never here that early in the season (February) I can’t tell you or show what it’s really like. If you like Museums though check out these articles

    If your interest lies elsewhere have a look here to see if anything grabs your attention Series links.

    Are there any specific arts festivals where you are?

    Best wishes

    Angela

    Nikos Engonopoulos Greek surrealist poet, painter and critic 1907-1985

    He was born in Athens but during a trip to Constantinople as it was then called, ww1 broke out so the family stayed there.

    He later spent some time in Paris and served his time in the army as all Greek men still have to do, then gained work as a translator afterwards.

    He was in Athens in 1932 to join the school of fine art and it was here that he met Andreas Emberikos a fellow surrealist poet who also had spent time in Paris.

    In 1945 he is commissioned to design sets and costumes for a play by Nikos Kazantzakis.

    In 1979 he is awarded the state prize for poetry.

    It seems from reading about him that although he wrote many poems including Bolivar (1942) inspired by Simon Bolivar, he is in fact far more famous for his art. Having looked at his art it’s almost Daliesque and I wonder why it’s not more popular.

    He has had many exhibitions of both his poems and his art mainly in Athens and after his death.

    He is one of those people that require you to search deeper on Google than your average person as most of the information is hidden inside of books.

  • He is the first in my series of painters simply because the poet list is becoming rather lengthy.
  • Other series include Greek Poets, Painters, Art, Authors, Musicians, Museums, Specialist fields of Interest, Conversation, Famous Greeks, Greek islands, and Rural Villages in Lefkás. All the links can be found here Series links.

    Best wishes

    Angela

    1st and 2nd Delphic festivals in Lefkás

    This is an artwork by Zois Rombotis that is in the National Gallery in Lefkás town.

    1st and 2nd Delphic festivals were held in 1927 and 1930 and they were festivals of the arts. These celebrated art, plays, poetry, music, dance and fashion. Not just Lefkádian styles but they had input from all over Greece as were the patrons who attended.

    These were instigated by Angelos Sikelianos and his wife Eva Palmer-Sikelianos. They were however such a huge undertaking in terms of organisation, promotion and financial cost that the burden proved too much for them. Since there was little state funding in those days, that they had to file for bankruptcy after the second one. This is why they have never been reinstated. Considering how popular they were, how well connected they were and with the amount of money that they must have had at their disposal with only have 1 child, you gotta think are there other forces at work here?

    Eva had to return home to the United States to try to acquire funding for more festivals due to the bankruptcy but was never permitted to leave again while her husband was alive due to political tensions and her own leanings. There is something slightly dodgy about this yet this is exactly what is written on the wall. There isn’t an explanation so your just left to wonder how such a thing could happen.

    It was so painful for the pair to be separated that he got there marriage annulled so he could get married again with her consent yet she never did. Neither had any more children. The family tree is on the wall though. It is through them that some of the exhibits are there.

    There is lots more information about both festivals in the Angelos Sikelianos museum situated in their house in Lefkás town. It was their pet project after all. If it wasn’t for the many donors who contributed to the museum, it probably wouldn’t still be there.

    Festivals held in Lefkás

    Best wishes

    Angela

    Yiannis Ritsos Greek poet 1909-1990

    Kostis Palamas was impressed by his work in 1934 and praised him publicly.

    Yiannis joined the communist party in the 1930’s and being left wing that means he’s going to clash when the right wing dictatorship of Ioannis Metaxas (1936) takes hold in Greece. He responded when they started burning his famous poetry by turning to surrealism as did so many of his colleagues.

    In the 1950’s his work was set to music by Mikis Theodorakis.

    He was also imprisoned when Greece suffered a second dictatorship performed by Papadopoulos commonly known as the military junta in 1967.

    As a result of this his poetry was frequently banned.

    He was rather unlucky when it came to the Nobel prize of Literature because of this censorship. He has been nominated 9 times unsuccessfully and finally he won the Lenin Peace Prize in 1975 which I guess is some form of compensation for continually being passed over because of his beliefs.

    As I feel this post is rather lacking since I didn’t find any inspiration here is the view of a native Yiannis Ritsos.

    This is the thirteenth post in the series of Greek but mainly Lefkádian writers and poets which includes a bonus post from Sententiae Antiquae on Sappho.

    Aristotle Valaoritis

    C F Cavafy

    Angelos Sikelianos

    Lefkadia Hearn

    George Seferis

    C G Karyotakis

    Ioannis Valaoritis

    Odysseus Elytis

    Andreas Emberikos

    Kostis Palamas

    Ioannis Zampelios

    Spiridon Zampelios

    Other series include Greek Authors, Painters, Musicians, Famous Greeks, Foreigners who have an interest in Greece and Rural Villages in Lefkás. All the links can be found here Series links.

    Best wishes

    Angela

    Spiridon Zampelios Lefkadian historian and poet 1813-1881

    Son of Ioannis Zampelios, a Lefkadian poet.

    He was a distinguished novelist and tried to prove the Unity of Byzantium in his work Byzantine Studies 1857. He has acquired his fathers love of debating the purity of language and which should be used for what purpose. This was all tied up with the Greek war of independence (1821-22) that was occurring at this moment in time.

    He also apparently founded the Filiki Eteria (wiki link) the freedom fighting organisation but who knows as to the veracity of this statement because one website says he did and another makes no mention as is quite common I’m finding out.

    He is famous enough in Lefkás to have a street named after him in Lefkás town. There isn’t much other evidence about his life as tourist websites give you a bare minimum of biographical data. So we once again come across the usual issue of there not being any information to work on.

    This is the twelfth post in the series of Greek but mainly Lefkádian writers and poets which includes a bonus post from Sententiae Antiquae on Sappho.

    Aristotle Valaoritis

    C F Cavafy

    Angelos Sikelianos

    Lefkadia Hearn

    George Seferis

    C G Karyotakis

    Ioannis Valaoritis

    Odysseus Elytis

    Andreas Emberikos

    Kostis Palamas

    Ioannis Zampelios

    Other series include Greek Authors, Painters, Musicians, Famous Greeks, Foreigners who have an interest in Greece and Rural Villages in Lefkás. All the links can be found here Series links.

    Best wishes

    Angela