Archive for the ‘Greek poetry’ Category

No Echoes by R J Dent

August 4, 2016

Villa Anamaria is an ornate Art Nouveau-style villa in Pefkos, on the Greek island of Rhodes. It is at the end of a beach road overlooking Askeftos Bay. The villa used to belong to Pink Floyd guitarist, David Gilmour, who sold it to an Italian couple several years ago.


Villa Anamarie 1990

Villa Anamaria 1990


On Pefkos maps, Villa Anamaria is still referred to as the ‘Pink Floyd Villa’.

095 - Copy

It has been on the market for nearly five years, and is currently valued at 1.1 million Euros. So far, no one has offered to buy it, and Villa Anamaria is gradually beginning to look like an unloved, derelict building.


No Echoes


Once, Villa Anamaria, an ornate house

above a rocky, remote Rhodian bay,

was neat, discrete, resplendent in hot sun,

with turquoise wrought-iron gates and walled garden,

olive tree-lined stone drive and marbled paths

that led to subtly-arranged glades of shade,

past Grecian urns, manicured lawns, statues.


Now, just a millionaire’s discarded toy,

empty, abandoned, unwanted, disowned,

no echoes of the distant past resound

or sound in rooms now empty but for dust.

Silence, shutters askew, sun-faded walls,

cracked paving, overgrown groves, creeping weeds,

an empty swimming pool, lawns gone to seed.



Villa Anamarie 2016

Villa Anamaria 2016


No Echoes

by R J Dent


Copyright © R J Dent (2016)


Follow R J Dent’s work on:









The Love Song of Daphnis & Chloe by Nigel Humphreys

July 3, 2016


A review by R J Dent

The Love Song of Daphnis and Chloe

by Nigel Humphreys

Edited by Catherine Edmunds

Published by Circaidy Gregory Press

ISBN: 9781906451882



Daphnis and Chloe (Greek: Δάφνις καὶ Χλόη, Daphnis kai Chloē) is the only known work of the 2nd century AD Greek novelist, Longus.


The Love Song of Daphnis & Chloe began when Nigel Humphreys read George Thornley’s 1670 English translation of Longus’ Greek novel, Daphnis and Chloe, written on Lesbos.


Nigel Humphreys became obsessed with the task of re-interpreting Longus’ pastoral romantic novel into an epic modern poem that would appeal to twenty-first century readers and retain the beauty, charm, romance and humour of the original.


First and foremost, The Love Song of Daphnis & Chloe is the story of a boy (Daphnis) and a girl (Chloe), each of whom is exposed at birth along with some identifying tokens. A goatherd named Lamon discovers Daphnis, and a shepherd called Dryas finds Chloe.



Each decides to raise the child he finds as his own. Daphnis and Chloe grow up together, herding the flocks for their foster parents.

And so it was preordained –

decreed by divine intercession –

that they raise them as their own.

And having shared their dreams…

they introduced their children

to their work as herdsmen…


Inevitably, Daphnis and Chloe fall in love, but being naïve, do not understand what is happening to them.

Yet among them Daphnis

was unable to settle since

he had seen Chloe naked,

honeyed, tender, scented

and more lovely than Venus

in all her sensuousness.

Philetas, a wise old cowherd, explains to them what love is and tells them that the only cure is kissing. They do this.

All they saw was that kisses

had endangered Daphnis

and day-dreaming Chloe

in that mazy month of May.

Eventually, Lycaenion, a woman from the city, educates Daphnis in the skills of love-making.


And so Lycenia…

finding him primed and greedy,

slipped slickly beneath him

and shepherded his limbs

to where they longed to be.

What followed came naturally…

Throughout the book, Chloe is courted by suitors, two of whom (Dorcon and Lampis) attempt with varying degrees of success to abduct her. She is also carried off by raiders from a nearby city:


Yet Chloe was with her herd

and fled from the invaders

to the Nymphs’ Cave begging

them to spare her and her kin

in the name of the Goddesses.

And she is only saved by the intervention of the god Pan.

Oh, you most cruel dissolute

of mortals! … restore

Chloe to the Nymphs with all

her flocks. Awake therefore

and send the maiden ashore

with her sheep and goats,

and I will steer her home,

and guide her to her lands.

The story concludes with both Daphnis and Chloe being recognized by their birth parents, after which, the couple get married and happily live out their lives in the country. On their wedding night:

… the stars,

moon and planets hurrahed.

The married pair were squired

to their room in rush light

by pipes and flutes, and Daphnis

lay with Chloe skin against skin.

Cuddling tightly and kissing,

entwining and twisting…



Nigel Humphreys’ The Love Song of Daphnis & Chloe is a beautifully written modern epic version of an Ancient Greek classic. Humphreys has taken Longus’ prose and given us a delightful poem of incredible warmth, wit and wisdom.

 From the back cover:

Bucolic shenanigans on the Island of Lesbos


Poet Nigel Humphreys has done something unique and surprising with the ancient text of Daphnis & Chloe, taking a rambling 2nd century prose narrative and transforming it into an epic poem in the oral tradition of Ancient Greece.

Daphnis & Chloe is complemented in this edition by five new Daffyd ap Gwylim translations, which Humphreys has returned to the original cywydd form in order to recapture the colour and humour of the 14th century Welsh troubadour poet.




by Nigel Humphreys

Edited by Catherine Edmunds

Published by Circaidy Gregory Press.

ISBN: 9781906451882


Follow Nigel Humphries:


Circaidy Gregory Press:



Bookbuster – a great bookshop in Hastings

November 5, 2013

Bookbuster is a wonderful book shop in Hastings that is open 7 days a week.



The proprietor of Bookbuster is Tim Barton, a St. Leonards-based cultural entrepreneur with many years experience in the book trade.


Tim has opened his cheekily-named bookshop, Bookbuster, in premises formerly occupied by a gone-bust Blockbuster DVD rental store.


Tim believes in bookshops and what bookshops offer customers: “I don’t think you can beat a physical bookstore, where you are free to browse,” he says.


Bookbuster is generating a lot of interest among book-lovers. Tim says: “The fact that there has been so much interest so far is fantastic.”


Although the shelves offer many new titles, the shop has an extensive and eclectic range of books that seem to appeal to all ages and interests.


With new stock arriving daily, a calendar full of author signings, readings, poetry slams and other literary events, and an ambient soundtrack playing to ensure customers linger longer, Bookbuster is proving to be a valuable business that gives a great deal to the Hastings reading community.


There is also a significant second-hand book section that – along with a selection with some well-chosen perennial titles – offers collectors the chance to obtain copies of rare editions and signed delights from Iain Sinclair, the late Iain Banks and Tom Sharpe, amongst others.


BookBuster is an independent bookshop in Queen’s Road, Hastings. There is a huge range of stock. Bookbuster is full of literary treasures and, because of Tim Barton’s depth of knowledge regarding authors and books of every type and genre, the shop is something of a cultural oasis. It is very good news for Hastings and for book-lovers and bibliophiles.


BookBuster is at 39 Queen’s Road, Hastings. Opening hours: 9.30am-5.30pm Monday to Saturday; 11-5 Sundays.


There are author readings, author signings, lectures, poetry readings and live music at BookBuster throughout the year.




39 Queen’s Road


TN34 1RL



BookBuster facebook page:



Follow R J Dent’s work on:







Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments translated by R J Dent

October 7, 2013


R J Dent’s English translation of the ancient Greek Poems & Fragments of Alcaeus is now available in paperback and e-book formats.


R J Dent discusses the inspiration behind his translation of Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments:

R J Dent reads ‘The North Wind’ from Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments:

R J Dent reads ‘To be weighed down…’ from Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments:

A promotional book trailer for Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments, translated into modern English by R J Dent:

Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments is available from Circaidy Gregory Press:

and from Amazon:

rjdent logo




R J Dent reads from the Poems & Fragments of Alcaeus

October 2, 2013


To be weighed down…


The North wind…


The whole cargo…


R J Dent on Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments


Book trailer for Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments


Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments

Translated into modern English by R J Dent

Published by Circaidy Gregory Press:

rjdent logo







In R J Dent’s Library – Daphnis and Chloe by Longus

October 2, 2013


A look in R J Dent’s library at the influential ancient Greek pastoral novel by Longus – Daphnis and Chloe.



In R J Dent’s Library – Daphnis and Chloe by Longus


Text (c) R J Dent (2013)

Film (c) R J Dent (2013)

rjdent logo





Alcaeus in Santorini

February 11, 2013

Alcaeus on a shelf, Atlantis Books, Santorini

Copies of the Poems & Fragments of Alcaeus, translated into English by the poet and novelist R J Dent, and published by Circaidy Gregory Press, are now available to buy at Atlantis Books in Santorini.


Atlantis Books is a truly amazing bookshop. It’s on the Main Marble Road in Oia, Santorini. Inside, it’s a bibliophile’s treasure-trove.

Atlantis_books 1

Alcaeus’s Poems & Fragments has made its way across the world and onto a shelf of Greek poetry and literature in Atlantis Books. It’s almost as though Alcaeus has gone home.

alcaeus in santorini 3

Here’s Alcaeus alongside Philip Sherrard, Dionysios Solōmos, Arthur Machen, Homer, and other distinguished Greek and Anglo-Greek authors and scholars.

alcaeus in santorini 1

Atlantis Books in Oia, Santorini, is one of the bibliophile wonders of the world. There is no other bookshop quite like it.

atlantis books 1


It’s fitting that Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments is now available to lovers of Greek poetry and Greek literature – on a Greek island as beautiful as Santorini, and in a bookshop as unique as Atlantis Books.

Alcaeus front cover Atlantis Books, Santorini

Alcaeus back cover Atlantis Books, Santorini

Atlantis Books, Main Marble Road, Oia, Santorini, Cyclades, Greece.



Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments, translated into English by R J Dent.



Circaidy Gregory Press, Hastings, Sussex, UK.


R J Dent


rjdent logo

Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments

February 15, 2011

 Translated by R J Dent

Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments – translated by R J Dent (ISBN 978-1-906451-53-0)

R J Dent’s sensitive modern English translation of the complete Poems & Fragments of Alcaeus is now available to download onto your Kindle at:


and in ePub format (Sony, Kobo, etc) at:


Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments is also available in paperback from Circaidy Gregory Press at:

and from

Alcaeus was a fellow countryman and contemporary of Sappho, and his beautiful and delicate poetry is often overshadowed by Sappho’s reputation. R J Dent has now translated all of Alcaeus’s Poems & Fragments from ancient Greek into lively modern English in an attempt to rescue Alcaeus’s ethereal poetry from obscurity.

There is no other published translation of Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments in existence.

Product Details:

Title: Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments – translated by R J Dent [Paperback Edition]

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-906451-53-0

Title: Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments – translated by R J Dent [Kindle Edition]

e-book ISBN: 978-1-906451-54-7

Translator: R J Dent

© R J Dent (2012)

Language: English 

Pages: 112

Paperback ISBN 978-1-906451-53-0 £7.49.  Orders available to trade and retail customers from or to trade via Nielsen Teleorders. Contact for discount and SoR terms.

Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments (in paperback and kindle formats) is now available from Amazon, and in all other eformats from all i-stores. Orders available to trade from Gardners and Baker and Taylor.

Here’s a recent review of Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments:

R J Dent’s published works include a novel, Myth; translations of Charles Baudelaire’s The Flowers of Evil & Artificial Paradise; of Le Comte de Lautréamont’s The Songs of Maldoror; of Alcaeus’s Poems & Fragments; a Gothic novella, Deliverance; a poetry collection, Moonstone Silhouettes, and various stories, articles, essays, poems, etc, in a wide range of magazines, periodicals and journals, including Orbis, Philosophy Now, Acumen and Writer’s Muse. 

R J Dent’s Amazon page can be found at:

Details of R J Dent’s other works – novels, novellas, translations, stories, poems, essays and songs – are available on

Follow R J Dent’s work on:








Ezra Pound

August 31, 2010

Ezra Pound (1885-1972) is generally considered the poet most responsible for defining and promoting a modernist aesthetic in poetry. In the early years of the twentieth century, he opened a seminal exchange of work and ideas between British and American writers, and was famous for the generosity with which he promoted the work of such major contemporary modernist writers as WB Yeats, Ernest Hemingway, DH Lawrence, Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, Yvor Winters, Marianne Moore, H. D., James Joyce, and especially T. S. Eliot, as well as visual artists including Henri Gaudier-Brzeska and musicians such as George Antheil.


Ezra Pound’s own significant contributions to poetry begin with his promulgation of Imagism, a movement in poetry which derived its technique from classical Chinese and Japanese poetry – stressing clarity, precision, and economy of language and foregoing traditional rhyme and meter in order to, in Pound’s words, “compose in the sequence of the musical phrase, not in the sequence of the metronome.”


A prolific author, he won the Bollingen prize for The Pisan Cantos in 1948. His later work, for nearly fifty years, focused on the encyclopaedic epic poem he entitled The Cantos, finally published in its entirety in 1975.


In 1959 Pound settled in Venice, Italy, where he lived in semi-reclusion until he died in 1972.


Selected works of Ezra Pound by year published


1908 A Lume Spento (poems)

1908 A Quinzaine for This Yule (poems)

1909 Personae (poems)

1909 Exultations (poems)

1910 Provenca (poems)

1910 The Spirit of Romance (essays)

1911 Canzoni (poems)

1912 Ripostes (poems)

1912 The Sonnets and Ballate of Guido Cavalcant (translations)

1915 Cathay (poems/translations)

1916 Gaudier-Brzeska (Memoir)

1916 Certain Noble Plays of Japan: from the MS of Ernest Fenollosa, chosen & finished by Ezra Pound, with an introduction by William Butler Yeats

1916 ‘Noh’, or, Accomplishment: a study of the classical stage of Japan, by Ernest Fenollosa and Ezra Pound

1916 ‘The Lake Isle (poem)

1916 Lustra (poems)

1917 Twelve Dialogues of Fontenelle (translations)

1918 Pavannes and Divisions (prose)

1919 Quia Pauper Amavi (poems)

1919 The Fourth Canto (poems)

1920 Umbra (poems/translations)

1920 Hugh Selwyn Mauberley (poems)

1921 Poems, 1918–1921 (poems)

1922 The Natural Philosophy of Love, by Rémy de Gourmont (translations)

1923 Indiscretions (essays)

1923 Le Testament (one-act opera)

1924 Antheil and the Treatise on Harmony (essays)

1925 A Draft of XVI Cantos (poems)

1926 Personae: The Collected Poems of Ezra Pound

1927 Exile (poems)

1928 A Draft of the Cantos 17–27 (poems)

1928 Selected Poems edited by T. S. Eliot

1928 Ta Hio: The Great Learning, newly rendered into the American language


1930 A Draft of XXX Cantos (poems)

1930 Imaginary Letters (essays)

1931 How to Read (essays)

1933 ABC of Economics (essays)

1933 Cavalcanti (three-act opera)

1934 Eleven New Cantos: XXXI-XLI (poems)

1934 Homage to Sextus Propertius (poems/translation)

1934 ABC of Reading (essays)

1935 Make It New (essays)

1936 Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry, by Ernest Fenollosa, edited and with a foreword and notes by Ezra Pound

1937 The Fifth Decade of Cantos (poems)

1937 Polite Essays (essays)

1937 Digest of the Analects by Confucius (translation)

1938 Guide to Kulchur (essays)

1939 What Is Money For? (essays)

1940 Cantos LII-LXXI (poems)

1944 Introduzione alla Natura Economica degli S.U.A. (prose)

1947 Confucius: the Unwobbling Pivot & the Great Digest (translation)

1949 Elektra (a play by Ezra Pound and Rudd Fleming)

1948 The Pisan Cantos (poems)

1950 Seventy Cantos (poems)

1951 Confucian Analects (translation)

1953 The Translations of Ezra Pound (translations)

1955 Section: Rock-Drill, 85–95 de los Cantares (poems)

1956 Sophocles: The Women of Trachis. A Version by Ezra Pound (translation)

1959 Thrones: 96–109 de los Cantares (poems)

1960 IMPACT: Essays on Ignorance and the Decline of American Civilization

1968 Drafts and Fragments: Cantos CX-CXVII (poems)



Selected posthumous works:


1975 Selected Poems, 1908-1959 (poems)

1976 Collected Early Poems

1975 The Cantos (ISBN 0-8112-1326-9)

1997 Ezra Pound and Music (essays)

1990 Personae: The Shorter Poems of Ezra Pound

1992 A Walking Tour of Southern France: Ezra Pound among the Troubadours (ISBN 0-8112-1223-8)

2002 Canti postumi (poems) (ISBN 88-04-51031-5)

2003 Ego scriptor cantilenae: The Music of Ezra Pound (operas/music)

2003 Ezra Pound: Poems and Translations (ISBN 978-1-931082-41-9)

2005 Early Writings (ISBN 0-14-218913-0)



Ezra Pound was a very skilled poet, as can be seen from the following poem:




The apparition of these faces in the crowd ;

Petals on a wet, black bough.



and a very skilled translator, as can be seen from the following translation:




The jeweled steps are already quite white with dew,
It is so late the dew soaks my gauze stockings,
And I let down the crystal curtain
And watch the moon through the clear autumn


by Rihaku


Note.—Jewel stairs, therefore a palace. Grievance, therefore there is something to complain of. Gauze stockings, therefore a court lady, not a servant who complains. Clear autumn, therefore he has no excuse on account of the weather. Also she has come early, for the dew has not merely whitened the stairs, but soaks her stockings. The poem is especially prized because she utters no direct reproach.



If you get a chance to read some of Ezra Pound’s poetry, then do so. It is clear, precise, interesting, beautiful poetry.


Ezra Pound’s books are available at:


R J Dent’s books are available at:



K P Kavafis: One of Their Gods

June 21, 2009

greek market place

just walked through Seleukeia market

just as dusk was starting to fall

a tall youth of perfect beauty

with unquenchable joy in his eyes

with black and perfumed hair

and passers-by stared at him

and each asked each if they knew him

if he were a Syrian Greek, or a stranger

but some who looked more carefully

understood and moved aside

and out of sight beneath the colonnade

among the shadows, out of the evening light

making his way to the quarter that lives

fully at night, offering orgies and pleasures

and all kinds of drunkenness and lust

they would wonder which of Them he was

and for what guilty pleasure

he walked through the streets of Seleukeia

far from those sacred, honoured mansions

One of Their Gods

K P Kavafis

Translation © R J Dent (2009)

r j dent logo