On Buried Seeds: The history of ‘They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.’

Quisieron enterrarnos, pero se les olvido que somos semillas.

I first encountered this Mexican dicho in the mid-90’s reading poems and graffiti from Zapatistas. Then, when we lost the Ayotzinapa 43, the refrain came back as if a whole crop of teachers were about to burst from the earth in Iguala.

καὶ τί δὲν κάνατε γιὰ νὰ μὲ θάψετε
ὅμως ξεχάσατε πὼς ἤμουν σπόρος

What didn’t you do to bury me
but you forgot I was a seed.

Born in 1931, in Greece’s second city Thessaloniki, Christianopoulos writes a kind of confessional poetry that once ostracized him from Greek and international society. Today his poetry and music, whether translated by context or language, retain a deep power. That perhaps his most known work doesn’t have his name attached to it seems like a grave disservice. I don’t want to contribute to his burial any longer.

All Pomp & Gibber.