History of Crete
Musical Instruments of Crete
Cretan Dances
Rebel Songs (Rizitika)
Folk Poetry (Mantinades)
Legends of Crete


A special poetic type with the deepest roots and the widest impression in the simple people, continues even today to flourish on Crete presenting a spectacular elation. This type of poetry (folk Cretan couplets) even though is also met in other regions of islular Greece, it can be considered as a endemic type of poetry from Crete. The fact that the couplets are a popular poetic expression and are connected to the astonishing aptitude of the residents of the island to promote them, is connected not only with their widest diffution but it is also accompanied with the risk of their maltreatment.
The folk couplets are not simply a typical verse process, or a certain technical practice that is evaluated with the rhyme and the phrasal impressiveness.
It is mainly an expression of the soul and an outcome of a long-lasting internal process that is associated unbreakably with the personal sensitivity, the inspiration and the high aesthetics.
With this data, it is very likely that couplets of bad taste are presented as folk couplets that have as a unique trait the occasionally unsuccessful rhyme and the extreme ambition of the author to make out his presence. But, the Cretan folk couplets are a purely poetic creation with all the criteria and characteristics of poetry. However, many times they tend to change into a cheap fabrication that undermines their own personality and mislead those who do not have a deeper affiliation to them.

Nevertheless, what balances this negative reality is the fact that each day more and more intellectual people seek to approach the couplets and comprehend the structure and their substantial meaniong. This of course will help in the long run to the re-establishment of their importance, but their survival will depend exclusively on the action taken from the sentimentalist and dreamers of the remaining mountainous Crete. Because, the couplets flourish mainly in the mountainous apartments of island and constitute an extension of psychism and they are a component of intellectual behavior of the residents of these regions. In availability that is inherent in the intellectual horizons of the Cretans and is connected with the multiple and long-lasting contact mainly with the Erotokritos of V. Kornaros, the couplets found their natural shelter in Crete and in here they met their greatest glory.

If today there are a lot of appreciable representatives of Cretan folk couplets in the urban centres of the island, this does not mean that the previous opinion is reversed. And this is because they carry in them all their experiences and memories from the countryside. They draw from their ainner iconography and the inexhaustible place of their childhood's memories.
When these pictures will fade out and our life in the rhythms of homogeny will be absolute standardised, then the couplets, if they exist as type, they are obviously going to be completely different from the current ones. For the time being however we are glad as long as there is this phenomenon. We should try to protect this poetry from symptoms of improvisation and mistreatment and try to stop all those that with insolence pillage this splendid poetic expression of our place.


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