Ὁ Νέοϛ Κολοσσός

Translated into Greek (old) 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 ξεδιάντροπο γίγαντα τῆς ἑλληνικῆς φήμης, μὲ κατακτήσεις τῶν ἄκρων
καβάλλα ἀπὸ τὴ ξηρὰ στὴ γῆ· ἐδῶ στὶς θαλασσινές μας πύλες στὸ ἡλιοβασίλεμα θὰ σταθεῖ μία ἰσχυρὴ γυναῖκα μὲ μία δᾶδα, τῆς ὁποίας ἡ φλόγα εἶναι ὁ φυλακισμένος κέραυνος, καὶ ὀνομάζεται Μητέρα τῶν Ἐξορίστων. Ἀπὸ τὸ χέρι τοῦ φάρου λάμπει
παγκόσμια ὑποδοχή· τὰ ἤπια μάτια της διοικοῦν τὸ ἀερογεφυρωμένο λιμάνι τὸ ὁποῖο
δίδυμες πόλεις πλαισιώνουν. “Κρατῆστε, ἀρχαῖα ἐδάφη, τὴν ἱστορική σας πομπή!” μὲ
φωνάζει μὲ ἀθόρυβα χείλη. “Δῶστε μου τοὺς κουρασμένους σας, τοὺς φτωχούς σας, τὰς συσσωρευμένες σας μᾶζες, ποὺ περιμένουν νὰ ἀναπνεύσουν ἐλεύθερα, τὰ ἄθλια ἀπορρίμματα τῆς γεμάτης ἄτης. Στεῖλτε αὐτούς, τοὺς ἄστεγους, τοὺς θυελλοπεταχτοὺς σὲ μένα, σηκώνω τὴν λάμπα δίπλα στὴ χρυσῆ πόρτα!”

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