"Μεθιστορία" (1995), "Meta-History" (1995), Ardana, Cyprus, Cyprus problem, II, Άρδανα Αμμοχώστου, Κυριάκος Χαραλαμπίδης, Kyriakos Charalambides, Modern Greek literature, Modern Greek poetry, refugees, Turkish Invasion
“Ardana, II,” a prose poem, is included in the collection Meta-History (Μεθιστορία, 1995). It reprises an earlier composition of the same title, included in Famagusta Reigning City.
Charalambides annotated the first “Ardana” as follows:
Ardana is a village on the mountain range of Pentadaktylos, eighteen miles away from the city of Famagusta and five and a half miles away from the castle of Candara. […] Andreas Maragos, a theatre director and actor, born in Ardana, inspired some elements of the composition. The idea for the poem, after all, was founded on his description of a dream he had about his village. One day he came up to me and said: ‘Kyriakos, you write so many poems about your home town, Famagusta. But my own thoughts go to my village, Ardana. Nobody speaks of it, poor and humble as it is. But this village is what I am yearning for, for this I suffer. So you keep on writing about Famagusta. After all some day it will be returned to you. But who will ever care about my Ardana? We shall never go back, I know it by my dreams. I think we have lost it forever.’ But the situation is even more tragic as far as Famagusta is concerned, I reflected later. We are talking about a city which we used to have in our possession and which we let slip from our fingers; which we see and do not see; which, even when we take it back, will not belong to us. Except if… (Charalambides “Famagusta Reigning City”, 159–160).
“Ardana, II” describes a second dream related to Charalambides by Maragos, eleven years after the first, on July 1, 1992, when time was shrouding the refugee’s memories even further.
You can read the Greek original here. Listen to the poet reciting:
Ι could not speak to her in Turkish.
– Do you speak English?
– I can understand.
– Is this my house?
– This is your house.
And I started weeping in my sleep. That cry of farewell. But my sobs were rocking me like a cockleshell, so I woke up, Pylades.
My bed was moist — could the dream be leaking from its roof? We two can see that, know that, live that even: “Our army is gone!” Nothing remains, no ship in sight, no land, no home, my friend.
And yet the front door was the same, the narrow street the same, the well the same, the carob tree, the clay oven, the tractor, and the fold, all were the same. And I had no relation with the house. I did not recognize it. I was standing inside its yard and I was feeling so uncomfortable; I bet, if you could see me, you would break down in tears.
Inside my yard, and yet I was no longer in my home, no longer in my village — an alien, whose soul just could not rest in peace.
– Τί φῄς;[i] Outside your house and you couldn’t even recognize it, is that true?
– It was no longer mine; it was not. The house I was born in, Pylades! I even asked her: “Madam, is this the house I was born in?”[ii] And the Turkish woman told me: “Yes, this is it.”
What a mystery! How did she know this was the house, where I first saw the light of day, how could she be so certain?
[i] “What are you saying?”
[ii] English in the original.