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DETAILS ON CYPRUS To the painter Diamandi The little owl was always there perched on the doorkey to St. Mama, given blindly to the honey of the sun here or elsewhere, now, in the past: autumn danced with just that rhythm. Angels unwound the heavens and a stone figure with arched eyebrows gazed idly on a corner of the roof. Then the monk appeared: skullcap, frock, leather belt, and went to work decorating the gourd.* He began at the neck: palm-trees, fish-scales, rings. Then, cupping its round belly with a broad palm, he added the cheating farmer, the cheating merchant, the cheating miller, and the slanderer; then the infant-hater and the defrocked nun; and at the bottom, almost hidden, the sleepless worm. All this was fine, a casual stroll. But the wooden well-wheel—the "alakatin"—* asleep in the shade of the walnut tree 181 half in the earth and half in the water, why did you try to wake it? You saw how it moaned. And that cry, brought forth from the wood's ancient nerves, why did you call it the voice of our country? 182 ...


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