stories , greece , poems , podcast

The Grasshopper

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Hello this is Bertie Fraser

And welcome to the first episode of Relaxivity, a new podcast that brings you relaxing and atmospheric stories - with a sprinkling of verse too.

Our stories have a spiritual and diverting nature, and of course, a good dose of humour.

For our debut, we’ve chosen a short poem from Ancient Greece. The verse celebrates the divine in the small - the little insect that sings the song of summer. Various translations call him a grasshopper, a cicada, or a cricket.

Cicadas are the chirpy insect that we associate with Greece, but our translation calls our tiny hero a grasshopper.

The ancient Greeks celebrated Cicadas as natural artists.

Socrates, the famous philosopher, whose life was written up by Plato, taught that Cicadas were once humans. The Muses enchanted them into singing and dancing for so long they stopped eating and sleeping and died without even noticing. So The Muses rewarded them with the gift of never needing food or sleep, and of singing from birth to death.

So now you know some background, let's get ready to listen to this enchanting poem, composed some 2,500 years ago.

The Grasshopper, by Anacreon Happy insect! all agree
None can be more bless'd than thee;
Thou, for joy and pleasure born,
Sipp'st the honey'd dew of morn.
Happier than the sceptred king,
Mid the boughs we hear thee sing.
All the season's varied store,
All thy little eyes explore,
Fruits that tempt, and flowers that shine,
Happy insect! all are thine.
Injuring nothing, blamed by none,
Farmers love thee—pretty one!
All rejoice thy voice to hear
Singing blithe when summer's near.
Thee the tuneful Muses love,
Sweetly chirping in the grove;
Thee the great Apollo bless'd
With a voice above the rest.
Thou from wasting age art free,
Time has naught to do with thee. Skilful creature, child of song,
Though to earth thou dost belong,
Free from Nature's woes and pains,
Free from flesh, or blood-fill'd veins,
Happy thing! thou seem'st to me
Almost a little god to be!

And you have been listening to The Grasshopper, written by Anacreon, And TRANSLATED BY Thomas Bourne in the 17th century.

We do hope that you have enjoyed this first episode of Relaxivity and are now feeling nice and relaxed and ready to recharge yourself with positive energy.

I’ll be back soon with a story from old Japan. And we are working on plenty of mythological stories - all will be revealed soon.

In the meantime, may you maintain good positive energy.

For now, from me, Jana,