“Nothing is more permanent than the temporary”

A really good essay can be read and re-read just like a really good novel. Example: Austerity Measures: A Letter from Greece, by translator A.E. Stallings, in a recent issue of Poetry. Have read it several times. 

So good it's difficult to figure out what to quote in this poetry-rich piece. Every time I find a line or two, it turns out to be part of a longer passage, which turns out to be just as delectable. Hard to choose! 

So: here's a Greek proverb suitable for Stallings' situation (a translator who moved with her family to Greece for a couple of years, and has been there a decade). For Greece's situation — a perpetual crisis. And even for poetry, which as Stallings notes, is "the opposite of austerity." 

Nothing is more permanent than the temporary

Heraclitus would understand. 

Published by Kit Stolz

I'm a freelance reporter and writer based in Ventura County.

One thought on ““Nothing is more permanent than the temporary”

  1. Interesting piece so far, thanks.

    An odd thing I noticed is her remark about “argomisthos—a uniquely Greek word with no English equivalent, meaning a salaried position without actual duties attached” — that equivalent is sinecure.


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