Ὁ Καινούργιοϛ Κολοσσός

Translated into Greek (modern) by John C. Rouman and Richard E. Clairmont

My two younger brothers (both anesthesiologists) and I (a professor) are children of Greek immigrants who were born and raised in Katavothra, Laconia, south of Sparta. As immigrants we were, for many years, politely shunned. Of course we always thought of ourselves as Americans first, while preserving our ethnic, religious, and cultural traditions.

John C. Rouman (co-translator) was born in Tomahawk, Wisconsin, in 1925 to Christos and Soteria (Dendes) Roumanis, who had arrived from Greece (his father) in 1913 and (his mother) in 1925. He received his B.A. (Greek) from Carleton College, his M.A. (Greek) from Columbia, and his Ph.D. (Classics) from the University of Wisconsin (Madison). He retired in 1999.

I am not the child of immigrants, but my parents were. They were both of French-Canadian descent. Despite my older relatives’ sometimes difficult immigrant experiences, we always remembered that our heritage was French Canadian, but at the same time we never forgot that we were Americans first.

Richard E. Clairmont (co-translator) was born in 1949 to Joseph and Katherine Clairmont of Belmont, New Hampshire, and raised in Gilmanton. He received his B.A. (Latin and Greek) from the University of New Hampshire, his M.A. (Latin) from Virginia, and his Ph.D. (Classics) from Loyola University in Chicago. He is Assistant Professor of Classics at his alma mater.

ἀπὸ Ἔμμα Λάζαρους

Ὄχι σὰν τὸ μπρούστινο γίγαντα ἀπὸ ἑλληνικὴ φήμη,
Μὲ νικητήρια μέλη καβαλευτικὰ ἀπὸ χώρα σὲ χώρα·
Ἐδῶ στὶς πόρτες μας τὶς περιβρεγμένες
ἀπὸ τὴ θάλασσα, τὶς ἡλιοβασιλεμένες
Θὰ στέκεται μιὰ δυνατὴ γυναῖκα
μὲ μιὰ δᾶδα, ποὺ ἡ φλόγα της
Εἶναι ἡ ἀστραπὴ ἡ φυλακισμένη, καὶ
ποὺ ἐπονομάζεται
Μητέρα τῶν Ἐξορισμένων. Ἀπὸ τὸ
φάρινό της χέρι
Λάμπει ἡ ὑποδοχή της ἁπλωμένη σ᾿ ὅλο
τὸν κόσμο· τὰ μάτια της τὰ ἤπια της
δεσπόζουν
Τοῦ λιμανιοῦ τοῦ γεφυρωμένου ἀπὸ
τὸν ἀέρα
Ποὺ τὸ πλαισιώνουν δίδυμες μεγαλούπολεις.
“Κρατῆστε, ἀρχαῖες χῶρες, τὴ χιλιοτρα- γουδισμένη σας μεγαλοπρέπεια!”
ἀνακράζει ἐκείνη
Μὲ σιωπηλὰ χείλη. “Δῶστε μου τοὺς κουρασμένους σας, τοὺς φτωχούς σας,
Τὶς κουβαριασμένες σας μᾶζες, ποὺ λαχταροῦν ν᾿ ἀναπνεύσουν ἐλεύθερα,
Τ᾿ ἄθλια ἀπορρίμματα τῆς ὄχθης σας ποὺ ξεχειλίζει.
Ἐκείνους τοὺς στεῖλτε σ᾿ ἐμένα ποὺ δὲν ἔχουν
πατρίδα, τοὺς ἀνεμοδαρμένους,
Τὴ λάμπα μου τὴ σηκώνω δίπλα στὴ χρυσῆ
πόρτα!”

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