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Cupids playing with a lyre_ Roman fresco from Herculaneum_edited_edited_edited_edited_edit

Άσπρο περιστέρι


Όποιος πόνεσε μέσα στη ζωή
όποιος έκλαψε σαν μικρό παιδί
τώρα τίποτα πια δε σου ζητά
μόνο στ' όνειρο θα σ' αναζητά

Άσπρο περιστέρι μεσ' τη συννεφιά
μου 'δωσες το χέρι να 'χω συντροφιά
Άσπρο περιστέρι, μαύρο μου φτερό
κάθε καλοκαίρι θα σε καρτερώ

Όταν σήκωσα το βαρύ σταυρό
μου παράγγειλες να 'ρθω να σε βρω
κι όταν δάκρυσα σαν την Παναγιά
ήταν άνοιξη και Πρωτομαγιά


Whoever suffered in life
whoever wept like a small child
now asks nothing from you
[and] will only be seeking you in [their] dream

White dove in the overcast
you offered me your hand so that I have company
White dove, black wing of mine
every summer, I shall be waiting for you

When I lifted the heavy cross
you asked me to come [and] find you
and when I wept like Virgin Mary
it was springtime and the first of May


The pronoun όποιος -α -ο ‘whoever, whichever’ is not the same as the relative pronoun οποίος -α -ο ‘who, which, that’. The difference lies not only in semantics, but also in intonation.


Είναι για όποιον θέλει να το διαβάσει. – It’s for whomever wants to read it.

Ένα φως το οποίο δε σβήνει ποτέ. – A light that never goes out.


The Modern Greek verb αναζητώ meaning ‘to search’, is a compound from prefix ανα- ‘re-’ and ζητώ, the verb which originally meant ‘to search’, and nowadays means ‘to ask for’. Although ζητώ is still used with its original meaning, this only happens rarely, and mainly in literally contexts.


The noun comes from σύντροφος ‘[romantic] partner’, ‘comrade’, which literally means the person you eat with, from prefix συν- ‘co-’ + τρέφω ‘to nourish’ / τροφή ‘food’. A now dated meaning of σύντροφος used to be ‘companion’, which itself originally meant the person you share bread with, from Latin con ‘with, co-’ + panis ‘bread’, which eventually gave birth to English company. The phrase “& Company”, abbreviated as “& Co.” in names of enterprises, in Greek is «και Συντροφία», abbreviated as «και Σία».


A rare and poetic synonym of περιμένω ‘to wait’, καρτερώ means ‘to wait patiently [usually for something or someone dear]’. It is derived from κρατώ ‘to keep, to hold’, which used to mean ‘to rule, to prevail, to seize’. The original noun is κράτος ‘state [country]’, which used to mean ‘might, power’ – as in δημοκρατία ‘democracy [the rule of the people]’. The verb καρτερώ ‘to wait’ came to be through a rightward displacement of the letter rho «ρ». This displacement can also be seen in the archaic adjective κρατερός -ή -ό ‘mighty, steadfast [also a man’s name – Κρατερός]’, whose alternative form was καρτερός -ή -ό.


The origins of the verb παραγγέλνω, if we disregard the prefix παρα-, lie in the noun άγγελος ‘messenger’, also meaning ‘angel’, since angels in Christianity are the messengers of God. Names like Άγγελος ‘Angelo [lit: angel]’ and Αγγελική ‘Angelica [lit: angel-like]’ also have the same origin. Although παραγγέλνω in some literary contexts means ‘to command/ask for by sending a message’, it usually means ‘to order’ – at a restaurant, online, etc. –, which semantically follows the same logic.


The name Παναγία that commonly refers to Jesus Christ’s mother, literally means ‘all-holy’, from παν ‘all [archaic]’ + αγία [holy, sacred].

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