Trigons

Trigon for an Old War: Three Drafts

Islands, Inlands

4.


   but more a little Latin like the
   General Kreipe's kidnapped from his car by Childe Patrick
   and his band Paddy fresh from walks half round
   the world Kreipe'd spit black ink like dog's-head squid
   himself or songbirds like the Corfu cats
   unless a dawn broke over Ida, then
   instead his
                 Vides ut alte stet
   nive candidum soracte
   stopped the action for a moment
   though a supposition even after mishaps on the road from
   military quarters to his villa at Knossos
   that he dealt with cretins
   Stratis Mitso Nikko and the others helping him
   to hurry just a little Horace into
   that back seat even if you do lose your Iron Cross
   had made his name-in-jest Theophilis
   his Wagan O an Opal and his captor Paddy's answer to him
   nec jam sustineant onus chap I know it well
   

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General Kriepe. German Military commander in Crete, kidnapped by Patrick Leigh Fermor, W Stanley Moss and members of the Cretan resistance in April 1944.


Childe Patrick. Patrick Leigh Fermor (1915-2011), travel writer and Special Operations Executive Officer active with the Cretan resistance during WW II. Author of A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water, two of the source books for Islands, Inlands.


Ida. Mount Ida, the highest point on Crete.


Vides ut alte stet. From Horace's Soracte Ode. Fermor recounts in his Time of Gifts that, on the second day of his captivity as dawn broke over Mt Ida Kriepe muttered this line as if to himself and Fermor then went on to recite the rest of the poem "and when I'd finished, after a long silence, he said: 'Ach so, Herr Major!' It was very strange as though, for a long moment, the war had ceased to exist. We had both drunk from the same fountains long before, and things were different between us for the rest of our time together."


Stratis Mitso Nikko. Members of the Cretan Resistance who also took part in Kriepe's kidnap.

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