Pietros Maneos


Pietros Maneos is the author of two poetry collections, the internationally acclaimed novella, ‘The Italian Pleasures of Gabriele Paterkallos,’ and a work of aesthetic criticism titled ‘American Bards & The London Reviewer.’ His work has also appeared in The Huffington Post, Italian Americana and Mediterranean Poetry. In addition to his literary pursuits, Pietros is the owner of Bramabella Vineyards, which is located in the mountains of western North Carolina.


An Athenian Lament: 2014 A.D.

‘Of his noble prowess the grove of Marathon can speak, or the long-haired Persian who knows it well’ – Aeschylus, Son of Euphorion, The Athenian

The Barbarians are coming today,
or is it tomorrow?

And yet here I am struggling to finish
my finely-polished poetry
and my lovely-limned tragedy
like some foolish naïf, blind and oblivious
to the impending obliteration of our sacred polis.

But what will all of my words amount to when
The Barbarians, our future masters,
arrive with their sabers,
bloodied and freshly sharpened?

For everything – everything – will be destroyed:
Our Parthenon, our sculptures, our holy books.
The Asian dances of Bacchus,
The Oresteia of Aeschylus,
The Histories of Herodotus,
all put to the torch, labelled and ridiculed as secular heresy.

Even Sappho’s lovely lyre,
The very foundation of western poetry,
will be engulfed in foreign flames and fire,
subsumed and consumed in the barbarity
and the bonfire
of Sharia.

The Barbarians are coming today,
Or is it tomorrow?

But, oh how I hope for Liberation and Victory,
as I see the young men of Attica,
hungry for adventure and glory,
pouring into the various gymnasia
of the city.
Garlanding their brows, oiling their bodies,
And hurling the discus
of Patroclus
like the long-lost Heroes of Thermopylae and Troia.
How noble! How heroic!

Yet, can even these brave Heroes of Homer resist this new breed of savages?
Al-Baghdadi, Abu Wahib, and Al-Shishani:
The fanatical, maniacal muhadijeen, who dream not of life, not of civilization,
But only of barbarism and world-wide domination?
Men who live not for Freedom, but for Submission.
How vulgar! How shabby!
How anathema to the Soul of Hellenism!

But what can I really do, my dear reader?
They have loaded guns – I have lyric poems.
So, who do you think will win?

The barbarians are coming today,
Or is it tomorrow?


Shall I, Pietros of Lesbos, the sole Son of Sappho and Herakles,
A Greek from ancient times,
Abandon my aristocratic Athenian life here at Bramabella:
Renouncing pleasing pastoral poesia,
The pure pleasures of the pasture,
And the daring Dionysian dances amongst the wine vines,
So as to traffic in golden bullion with the hoi polloi:
A peddler of pills, potions and powders
A slick salesman selling suburban mansions to techno-titans:
A red-eyed, fatigued, shuffling Willy Loman.
Yet, what of Athens? Of Socrates? Of Pericles?

Or shall I continue to serve The Pierian Nine?
A strict student of To Kalon
A disciplined disciple of philosophia
And an ardent devotee of The Gymnasia:
Competing with the oeuvre of Alcaeus, Aeschylus
and passion-flushed Catullus,
while emulating the perfectly shapen limbs of great, god-like Dioxippus
and the meticulously crafted torso of long-lost Antinous?

So, what say you, my dear reader?
Shall I submit obediently to the tenets of modernity
Or resist its tawdry temptations like a stubborn Spartan?


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