A close analysis on Odysseas Elytis' "The Little Mariner" focused more on Anoint the Ariston [XXVIII]section.

Essay by FINITOCollege, UndergraduateA-, October 2007

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No matter what happens to us or where we go after we die, nature and the world will be here and remain the same. This is the theme of XXVIII from Anoint the Ariston and 8 from With Light & Death. In the following paper, I will describe how in both of these poems, Elytis shows his positive ideology about nature and preserving it and other beautiful things on earth.

In XXVIII from Anoint the Ariston we see a great emphasis that no matter how much we advance here on earth, earth will remain the same because of its nature. “All things will change one day and we too with them, but our nature will irretrievably be carved on the geometry we disdained in Plato.” (Lines 2-4)What this really means is that although everything changes nature will stay the same. He continues by saying that it’s all said and done “the same brown hills…same windmills and the same abandoned chapels” (line 7) will still be there.

In this poem he also uses a very clever simile to describe the vineyards. He states that they (the vineyards) are asleep like children. What I get from the second paragraph is that earth, is in actually the “humble paradise” we all expect in the after life. All the things our soul craves such as justice, freedom and our true self are on earth if we just know where to look for them.

In number 8 from With Light & Death we see a poem with many spaces in between words. The poem consists of twenty-two lines and in those twenty-two lines there is thirty one spaces, some longer than others as to take up more words. If you read the poem as a whole, it doesn’t make too much sense. However, if there were words to fill the poem, we can get the full essence of the poem. The poem is translated into English and seems to be an attempt of recreating a piece as if it were found on some ancient walls. The purpose of this poem is to preserve the beauty of the poem and to present a challenge on what could be those missing words of a poem written so long ago. How this compares to the previous poem I spoke about is that this one is a poem that’ll has stood in its place so many years after the poet wrote it. This poem could have been on the very same “old chapel” the previous poem spoke about. Elytis seemed to cherish the world for what it is and this poem is a classic example of that. From the entire poem, the line that seems to be the most powerful for me is line two: “I can’t catch you Fate.” From this line alone we can sense the potent content in the poem and it makes us (the readers) cherish is that much more.

The first poem describes the beauty of the earth as a whole and how nature and ancient buildings and art will stay way after we all leave this earth. It also describes that paradise as we so much crave for the afterlife is possible to achieve here on earth while we are alive, all we have to do is know where to look. The second poem is a perfect example of the beauty that will stay many years after our departure and its preservation.