Cretan Mandinades

Mandinades - cretan everyday poetry

Cretan mandinades (sing., mandinada, from the Italian mattinata) are improvised rhymed couplets of fifteen-syllable lines. They are the traditional Cretan poems written in Cretan dialect by the simple everyday Cretans and then spread over from generation to generation by word of mouth. To translate them would mean they would lose their rhyme.

Τραγούδι κάνει ο Κρητικός κάθε χαρά και πόνο
και λέει ότι αισθάνεται με μαντινάδες μόνο.

They come from the heart of the Cretans and usually depict their emotions. They speak mostly about love and the pain that comes from it. Cretans sing mandinades when amongst friends to the famous sound of the lyra.