Translated by Joshua Barley
With a Foreword by A.E. Stallings
The Greek folk songs Dimotika Tragoudia in Greek are songs of the Greek countryside, from island towns to mountain villages. They have been passed down from generation to generation in a centuries-long oral tradition, lasting until the present. They are songs of every aspect of old Greek life: from love songs and ballads, to laments for the dead, to songs of travel and brigands. Written down at the start of the nineteenth century, they are the first works of modern Greek poetry, playing a crucial role in forming the country’s modern language and literature. Still known and sung today, they are the Homer of modern Greece. This new translation brings the songs to an English readership for the first time in over a century, capturing the lyricism of the Greek in modern English verse. Translator info: Joshua Barley is a translator of modern Greek literature and writer. He read Classics at Oxford and modern Greek at King’s College, London. His translations of Ilias Venezis’ Serenity and Makis Tsitas’ God Is My Witness are published by Aiora Press. A Greek Ballad, selected poems of Michális Ganás (translated with David Connolly is published by Yale University Press). Foreword by A.E. Stallings, American poet and translator.