The oak of Texas and the allegory of Tito


I am a criminal and I plead guilty – for not having visited the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center after two years in Austin. Today, though, I was pardoned by spending a day there with my father (his last day in the US). The natural beauty of this park is simply astonishing. It seems that the legacy of LBJ’s wife, namely Lady Bird Johnson, continues to thrive. I will definitely visit more often and I am looking forward to the season when the flowers are in full blossom. Absolutely recommended for philosophical walks through those trails!

When we crossed that magnificent scenery of a fallen oak above I suddenly remembered a Greek poem I read a long time ago by the “Allegory” by Titos Patrikios. A moment of clarity is what we call it or a subconscious connection of apparently unrelated events. Another coincidence is that this poem was included in the collection that my father just brought me as a surprise gift.  Let’s see how it goes:


Σαν έπεσε η βαλανιδιά
άλλοι κόψανε ένα κλαδί, το μπήξανε στο χώμα
καλώντας για προσκύνημα στο ίδιο δέντρο,
άλλοι θρηνούσαν σ’ ελεγεία
το χαμένο δάσος τη χαμένη τους ζωή,
άλλοι φτιάχνανε συλλογές από ξεραμένα φύλλα
τις δείχνανε στα πανηγύρια βγάζανε το ψωμί τους,
άλλοι διαβεβαίωναν τη βλαπτικότητα των φυλλοβόλων
διαφωνώντας όμως στο είδος ή και στην ανάγκη αναδάσωσης,
άλλοι, μαζί κι εγώ, υποστήριζαν πως όσο υπάρχουν
γη και σπόροι υπάρχει δυνατότητα βαλανιδιάς.
Το πρόβλημα του νερού παραμένει ανοιχτό.

Τίτος Πατρίκιος , Προαιρετική στάση 1975

I will not attempt to translate but rest assured, it is about a fallen oak. It originates from the ancient saying ‘Δρυός πεσούσης πας ανήρ ξυλεύεται’ which approximately means “When an oak is falling, every man chops a piece of wood”. The essence is that once the chance is occurs, everyone tries to get an advantage out of it. Therefore, enjoy some more photos from that wonderful place!


About Apolytos Diallaktikos

Hi, I'm Karlos and this is my personal, bilingual blog. I see it as a way of holding a public calendar with all the hidden or not-so-hidden gems I discover, as a mean of sharing my inner thoughts, poems, songs, books, films. Originally from Thessaloniki, Greece and currently at UT Austin, Texas.
This entry was posted in English, Ελληνικά, Photography, Places, Poetry. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The oak of Texas and the allegory of Tito

  1. cindy knoke says:

    In her quiet unassuming way, she left a legacy of beauty, which impresses me a lot more than what her husband did so loudly, boldly and publicly. Love your photos!

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