Sing, Muse,
of that misanthrope,
who was homeless and forever wandering,
since he had yet to chop down his fig tree.

In the city he ignored the many routine evils of most men
as he strove to keep alive, with a sorrowful heart,
his fig tree and the warm pot of food for his friends.
But, hard as he tried, he could not save himself.
The fool, ruined by his own wasteful ways,
saw the amount of wealth he had squandered,
all of the cows and goats he had eaten,
while his friends were grabbing all they found
wherever they could.

Sing, Goddess,
and gracefully tell the tale again in our time.

Translation of “Timonias.” Copyright Christopher Kontonikolis. By arrangement with the author. Translation copyright 2011 by Andrew Barrett. All rights reserved.

Ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, Mοῦσα, κακότροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ
πλάγχθη ἄοικος, ἐπεὶ συκῆν οὔ πω κατέκοψε
πολλῶν δ’ ἀνθρώπων κακὰ ἤθεα πολλὰ κατέγνω
πολλὰ  δ’ ὅ γ’ εἰν ἄστει πάθεν ἄλγεα ὃν κατὰ θυμὸν
ἀρνύμενος ἣν μὲν συκῆν ἰδ’ ἑταίρων χύτραν
ἀλλ’ οὐδ’ ὣς αὑτόν γ’ ἐρρύσατο ἱέμενός περ
αὐτοῦ γὰρ σφετέρῃσιν ἀτασθαλίῃσιν ὄλωλε
νήπιος, ὃς κατὰ βοῦς ἰδὲ κ’ αἶγας καὶ ὃν πλοῦτον
ἤσθιε, αὐτὰρ ἑταῖροι ἀφεῖλον πάντα τὰ λοιπὰ
τῶν ἁμόθεν γε, θεά, χαριέντως εἰπὲ καὶ ἡμῖν

Christopher KontonikolisChristopher Kontonikolis

Christopher Kontonikolis was born in Athens in 1981. He studied classics and is now completing a master’s degree in Byzantine literature at the University of Athens. He has composed poems in Greek and in Ancient Greek language and meter. This is his first publication in an American journal.

Translated from Ancient GreekAncient Greek by Andrew BarrettAndrew Barrett

Andrew Barrett is a translator and musician who lives in Rochester, NY, where he is pursuing a Master of Arts in Literary Translation degree at the University of Rochester. He is currently translating a portion of Nonnus's Dionysiaca—a lush and expansive Ancient Greek epic from Late Antiquity. Excerpts from his translation of the Dionysiaca appeared in the third issue of Anomalous Press. In June of 2011, he had the honor of working on his translation of the Dionysiaca at the Banff International Literary Translation Centre. He has also translated poems by Modern Greek poet Harris Psarras.