Poem: Independence

Poem: Independence, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Greece, Ukraine, Ottomans, Greek War for Independence, poetry, palikaria, Athena, Nike, slava ukraini
Photo by Hert Niks on Pexels.com

Yesterday was Greek Independence Day, commemorating Greece’s fight against Ottoman occupation (the Ottomans weren’t fully ousted from Greece until the end of World War I). Since Tuesday was also World Poetry Day, I was inspired to write a few lines on the subject.

I think these words are also relevant to the current fight in Ukraine, and I’m looking forward to the day when Ukraine is free of their invaders, as well. There’s actually an important link between Greece and Ukraine, as the Greek War of Independence was conceived and planned in Odessa.

In the end we’re all connected. We shouldn’t let the greed and corruption of a few divide the rest of us, or destroy the peace we deserve. What are your thoughts? Share in the comments…


by Aspasía S. Bissas

Fight, partisans,

fight to stand on the soil soaked with your ancestors’ sweat.

Fight so that your children will have a place where they belong.

Resist, stalwarts,

save the spirits of your land

before they are crushed,



Rest, palikaria*.

Your mothers’ tears have long since dried

and turned to dust.

Your work is done.

You are not forgotten.

*”Palikari” (plural: palikaria) is a Greek word meaning young man, particularly one that is brave and honourable (and a little rebellious). It is also what the Greek guerilla fighters were called during the war for independence.

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Aspasía S. Bissas


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