Archive for July, 2012

Suddenly a sunrise

perhaps it was a new day

full of vigor and stamina and


all comrades woke staring

at each other, counting bodies

that moved instead of the


motionless, let them be cursed

and let them keep away from us

but when the sergeant came in


and called all our names

it wasn’t strange that we all answered

except the dead ones in the other hutment


in gray sacks like rotten

potatoes no one wanted to deal with

and the sun still stood up


in the horizon like a mother

counting her children one by one

then hiding her eyes from


this spectacle until a moment

of silence was called for

the ones who could no longer breathe

“Nostos and Algos”

Ο ήλιος ξαφνικά σηκώθηκε

ίσως η μέρα νάταν γιομάτη

σφριγηλότητα κι εγκαρτέρηση


που όλοι ξυπνήσαν οι σύντροφοι

και στράφηκαν τριγύρω να μετρήσουν

τους ζωντανούς, χώρια απ’ τους


ακούνητους και ξορκισμένοι

νάναι και μακρυά απο μας

στην ώρα του ήρθε ο λοχίας


και προσκλητήριο εκάλεσε

παράξενο που όλοι απαντήσαμε

εκτός απ’ τους άλλους στους μαύρους


σάκκους που σαν σάπιες πατάτες

δίπλα στο παράπηγμα μένανε άλαλοι

κι ο ήλιος στάθηκε δειλά στο χάος


σαν μάνα που εμέτραγε ένα ένα

τα παιδιά της κι άλλες φορές που

έκρυβε τα μάτια να μη δει


τη θεία κωμωδία κι ένα λεπτό

σιωπής καλέστηκε γι’ αυτούς που

πια δεν γνώριζαν πως ν’ ανασάνουν

¨Νόστος και Άλγος”

Με ιδιαίτερη χαρά παραθέτω ανακοίνωση της International Arts Academy.

Δεν κρύβω πως πετώ στα σύννεφα.


“Στον Μανώλη Αλυγιζάκη, καταξιωμένο λογοτέχνη – συγγραφέα και βραβευμένο

στο Παγκόσμιο Φεστιβάλ InterArtia 2011, απονεμήθηκε το ‘Bachelor of Arts in Literature’

και ο τίτλος του επίτιμου καθηγητή και συνεργάτη της International Art Academy. ”

Η ‘International Arts Academy’ είναι μία διεθνής Ακαδημαϊκή Κοινότητα που προσφέρει ‘Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral’ προγράμματα.

Η αναγνώρηση της δουλειάς μου από την Ακαδημία με συγκινεί και με τιμά εξαιρετικά.

It is my pleasure to copy an announcement by the International Arts Academy.

Needless to say I’m on cloud nine.

“Manolis Aligizakis, an accomplished author-poet, winner in the 2011 International Interartia Festival competition, is hereby awarded an honourary ‘Bachelor of Arts in Literature’ and is named an honorary teacher and fellow of the International Arts Academy.”

The ‘International Arts Academy’ is a worldwide acclaimed Academy offering Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral diplomas in various fields of discipline.

I feel profoundly honoured to have my work recognized by the Academy.

The Art of Words

Posted: 19/07/2012 by vequinox in Canada, Literature
Tags: , , , , ,

Dr Dimitri Karalis

There is no difference between a precious stone and a common stone in their building structure, except only in the rearrangement of their particles. The carbon in the charcoal and diamond, for instance, is the same, except for the different arrangement of their molecules, namely the crystallization. Yet… how far apart are they in beauty and value compared to each other. The pearl and the seashell have also identical structural synthesis; yet the pearl is superior in beauty and as cosmetic value. Similar situations we observe also in human beings. Two humans have the same ideas and words to speak and write, yet one produces literature and the other platitude. Why does this happen? What element made them differ so widely?

The secret lies only in the presentation of their thoughts. A finer and more compendious process has gone on in the one case than in the other. The words are fused and knitted closer; in some way heightened and intensified so lyrically like the sounds of Aeolian harp. Philosophising literature, offers joy, enthusiasm, knowledge and creative excitement to a mature reader. Such enviable writing remains an indelible and inexhaustible source of mental inspiration to ever-searching humanity.

Paging through famous literature biographies and essays on virtue like that of ancient writer Plutarch; we feel mentally and spiritually wealthier by reading his celestial treasures. Justly the French thinker ‘Michel Mountain’ called him the ‘physician of the soul’. Real profound literature is not written to project egoistic and vanity, but to love and be loved. A skilful writer never leaves his readers where he finds them initially, but enriches and inspires them to a higher spiritual platform. ”Do not read books that your soul dislikes them,” said Shakespeare,” you wasting your time to receive no benefit.” Books written with a deeper soul, are recognised instantaneously by reading only a few words anywhere amongst the pages. ”There are three types of books like our food,” said Francis Bacon,”1. Those we eat (read) and immediately spit out as unsuitable food (knowledge). 2. Those that we eat (read) pleasantly and fall short to nourish (educate). 3. Those that require slow chewing (reading) to extract their nourishing substances well”.

When we read advanced spiritual works, like that of Neo-platonic writer ‘Synecious’, we discover that he is in love with divine truth as he writes. Every word is loaded with mystery and exquisite celestial music, which brings our soul to ecstasy, like walking in Eleusinian ancient mysteries. We revive the ancient celestial ceremonies again, as if we lived in those practising days too. This is the supreme aim of literature, to extend our vision higher with the majestic truth which they contain. Without the truth, as a captain in a writing ship, no soul will follow our literal journey. Here exactly we find the soulful and un-soulful writings. From here, we collect lexical ambrosia to groom our thoughts and words with celestial glory. Do not publish this letter, said the Greek writer Kazantzakis, to the Athenian editor ‘Prevelakis’, because I did not put soul into it. Many writers have experience in these kinds of moments, when they write egocentrically.

One word to write wrongly, and immediately our souls interrupt the flow. Like the unskilful musician, who plays false a note in an orchestra, and is interrupted instantaneously by the maestro to restore the lyrical harmony. Who writes literature then, our selves or some outside power? Could it be that we become an instrument for the spirit to deliver a message to humanity? Naturally, not all writing is spiritually endorsed; because all depends on the spiritual level of the individual. A hill has a better view over the landscape than a flat valley, but only on the mountain noetic peak is one nearer to indigo sky and to mysterious glimmering stars.

How does one become spiritually aware to write well, is the question? Here is what the philosopher Emerson’ has to say on the subject.

If, never the less, God has called any of you to explore truth and beauty, be bold, be firm, be true. When you shall say that as others did, so will I. I am sorry for my early visions; I must eat the good of the land and let learning and romantic expectations go until a more convenient season. Then dies the spiritual man in you; then once more perish the buds of arts, prose, poetry and science, as they have died already in a thousand and thousands of men. The hours of that choice, is the crisis of your history; and see that you hold yourself fast by the intellect. Bent to the persuasion which is flowing to you from every object in nature, to be its tongue to the heart of man, and to show the besotted world how passing fair is wisdom.

Be contained with a little light that it is your own. Explore and explore. Be neither chided nor flattered out of your perpetual inquiry. Neither dogmatise nor accept another’s dogmatism. Why should you renounce your right to traverse the star-lit desert of truth, for the premature comforts of an acre, house, and barn? Truth also has its roof, bed, and board. Make yourself necessary to the world, and mankind will give you bread. ”

You will not fear that I am enjoying too stern an asceticism. Ask not, of what use is a scholarship that systematically retreats? Or who is the better for the philosopher who conceals his accomplishment and hides his thoughts from the waiting world. Hide his thoughts! Hide the sun and the moon! Thoughts are all light, and publish themselves freely into the universe. It will speak, though you are dumb by its own miraculous organ. It will flow out of your actions, your manners, and your face. It will bring you friendship and impledge you to truth by the love and expectations of generous minds. By virtue of the laws of nature, which is one and perfect, it shall yield every sincere good that is in the soul, to the scholar beloved of earth and heavens.


Pompey—Death and Love

 To call it punishment? To call it repayment?— It was death.

The two charred bodies in their glass boxes,

petrified ash—we didn’t get scared at all. Outside, in the street

a child collected stones from Pompey in his light blue bucket,

the guards—one, an old man, his eyes sparkling under his

blue cap looking toward the pretty tourist girls, the other

young, with a pitch black mustache, touched the mural, with his

pointer, exactly on top of the naked woman’s belly button

as if showing to us the center of earth. (And of course

love more powerful than death).

We came out through

the second archway, inside the glorious gold-purple sundown

holding tight in our fingers the admission ticket, like we held tight

an obscene erotic note  although we wanted to announce it to

the whole world.


Yannis Ritsos ~The World is One”

Translated by Manolis Aligizakis


Πομπηία—Θάνατος κι έρωτας

Νά τό πείς τιμωρία; Νά τό πείς ανταμοιβή; — Θάνατος ήταν.

Τά δυό απανθρακωμένα σώματα μέσα στά γυάλινα κουτιά τους,

μαρμαρωμένη τέφρα, — δέν τρομάξαμε διόλου. Έξω, στό δρόμο,

ένα παιδί μάζευε πέτρες τής Πομπηίας στό γαλάζιο κουβά του,

οι φύλακες — γέροντας ο ένας, σπίθιζε τό μάτι του

κάτω απ’ τό μπλέ κασκέτο του κοιτώντας τίς ωραίες τουρίστριες, ο άλλος,

νέος, μέ κατάμαυρο μουστάκι, ακούμπησε τό δείχτη του

επάνω στήν τοιχογραφία, πάνω ακριβώς στόν αφαλό τής γυμνής γυναίκας

σάν νά μάς έδειχνε τόν ομφαλό τής γής. (Καί βέβαια

πιό δυνατός απ’ τό θάνατο ο έρωτας).


απ’ τή δεύτερη πύλη, μές στό ένδοξο χρυσοπόρφυρο λιόγερμα,

σφίγγοντας μές στά δάχτυλά μας τό εισητήριο εισόδου, σάν νά σφίγγαμε

ένα άσεμνο ερωτικό σημείωμα πού θέλαμε ωστόσο νά τό ανακοινώσουμε σ’

όλο τόν κόσμο.

Γιάννης Ρίτσος~“Ο Κόσμος Είναι Ένας”

~Γιώργος Σεφέρης


Ασίνην τε…


Κοιτάξαμε όλο τό πρωί γύρω-γύρω τό κάστρο

αρχίζοντας από τό μέρος τού ίσκιου εκεί πού η θάλασσα

πράσινη καί χωρίς αναλαμπή, τό στήθος σκοτωμένου


μάς δέχτηκε όπως ο καιρός χωρίς κανένα χάσμα.

Οι φλέβες τού βράχου κατέβαιναν από ψηλά

στριμμένα κλήματα γυμνά πολύκλωνα ζωντανεύοντας

στ’ άγγιγμα τού νερού, καθώς τό μάτι ακολουθώντας τις

πάλευε νά ξεφύγει τό κουραστικό λίκνισμα

χάνοντας δύναμη ολοένα.

Από τό μέρος τού ήλιου ένας μακρύς γιαλός ολάνοιχτος

ααί τό φώς τρίβοντας διαμαντικά στά μεγάλα τείχη.

Κανένα πλάσμα ζωντανό τ’ αγριοπερίστερα φευγάτα

κι ο βασιλιάς τής Ασίνης πού τόν γυρεύαμε δυό χρόνια


άγνωστος λησμονημένος απ’ όλους κι από τόν όμηρο

μόνο μιά λέξη στήν ιλιάδα κι εκείνη αβέβαιη

ριγμένη εδώ σάν τήν εντάφια χρυσή προσωπίδα.

Τήν άγγιξες, θυμάσαι τόν ήχο της; κούφιο μέσα στό φώς

σάν τό στεγνό πιθάρι στό σκαμμένο χώμα,

κι ο ίδιος ήχος μές στή θάλασσα μέ τά κουπιά μας.

Ο βασιλιάς τής Ασίνης ένα κενό κάτω απ’ τήν προσωπίδα

παντού μαζί μας, κάτω από ένα όνομα¨

‘Ασίνην τε…Ασίνην τε…’

καί τά παιδιά του αγάλματα

κι οι πόθοι του φτερουγίσματα πουλιών κι ο αγέρας

στά διαστήματα τών στοχασμών καί τά καράβια του

αραγμένα σ’ άφαντο λιμάνι,

κάτω απ’ τήν προσωπίδα ένα κενό.

Πίσω από τά μεγάλα μάτια τά καμπύλα χείλια τούς


ανάγλυφα στό μαλαματένιο σκέπασμα τής ύπαρξής μας

ένα σημείο σκοτεινό πού ταξιδεύει σάν τό ψάρι

μέσα στήν αυγινή γαλήνη τού πελάγου καί τό βλέπεις-

ένα κενό παντού μαζί μας.

Καί τό πολυί πού πέταξε τόν άλλο χειμώνα

μέ σπασμένη τή φτερούγα

σκήνωμα ζωής,

κι η γυναίκα πού έφυγε νά παίξει

μέ τά σκυλόδοντα τού καλακαιριού

κι η ψυχή πού γύρεψε τσιρίζοντας τόν κάτω κόσμο

κι ο τόπος σάν τό μεγάλο πλατανόφυλλο πού παρασέρνει

ο χείμαρος τού ήλιου

μέ τ’ αρχαία μνημεία καί τή σύγχρονη θλίψη.

Κι ο ποιητής αργοπορεί κοιτάζοντας τίς πέτρες κι ανα-


υπάρχουν άραγε

ανάμεσα στίς χαλασμένες τούτες γραμμές τίς ακμές τίς

αιχμές τά κοίλα καί τίς καμπύλες

υπάρχουν άραγε

εδώ πού συναντιέται τό πέταγμα τής βροχής τού αγέρα

καί τής φθοράς

υπάρχουν, η κίνηση τού προσώπου τόσ χήμα τής στοργής

εκείνων πού λιγόστεψαν τόσο παράξενα μές στή ζωή μας

αυτών πού απόμειναν σκιές κυμάτων καί στοχασμοί με

τήν απεραντοσύνη τού πελάγου

ή μλήπως όχι δέν απομένει τίποτε παρά μόνο τό βάρος

η νοσταλγία τού βάρους μιάς ύπαρξης ζωντανής

εκεί πού μένουμε τώρα ανυπόστατοι λυγίζοντας

σάν τάκλωνάρια τής φριχτής ιτιάς σωριασμένα μέσα στή

διάρκεια τής απελπισίας

ενώ τό ρέμα κίτρινο κατεβάζει αργά βούρλα ξεριζωμένα

μές στό βούρκο

εικόνα μορφής πού μαρμάρωσε μέ τήν απόφαση μιάς

πίκρας παντοτινής.

Ο ποιητής ένα κενό.

Ασπιδοφόρος ο ήλιος ανέβαινε πολεμώντας

κι από τό βάθος τής σπηλιάς μιά νυχτερίδα τρομαγμένη

χτύπησε πάνω στό φώς σάν τή σαϊτα πάνω στό σκουτάρι.

‘Ασίνην τε   Ασίνην τε…’. Νά ‘ταν αυτή ο βασιλιάς τής


πού τόν γυρεύουμε τόσο προσεχτικά σέ τούτη τήν


γγίζοντας κάποτε μέ τά δάχτυλά μας τήν αφή του

πάνω στίς πέτρες.

Ασίνη, καλοκαίρι `38-Αθήνα, Γεν. `40

~Γιώργος Σεφέρης

George Seferis/Translation Manolis Aligizakis


Ασίνην τε…ILIAD

We looked all around the citadel for the whole morning

starting from the shaded side there where the sea

green and without reflection, breast of the slaughtered


welcomed us like time without any chasm in it.

The veins of the rock descended from high up

twisted vines, naked, multi-branched turning alive

at the touch of water, as the eye following them

struggled to escape the tedious rocking

of sea growing slowly-slowly weaker.

On the sunny side a long deserted beach

and the light rubbing diamonds on the great walls.

Not any living being, the wild doves gone

and the king of Asini, whom we’ve looked for

the last two years

unknown, forgotten by all and also by Homer

only one word in Iliad and even that uncertain

thrown here like a burial golden mask.

You touched it, do you remember its sound? Hollow

in the light like the dry jar in the dug soil;

and the same sound in the sea made by our oars.

The king of Asini emptiness under the mask

everywhere with us, everywhere with us, under one name:

‘Aσίνην τεΑσίνην τε…’

and his children statues

and his desires fluttering of birds and the wind

among interstices of his thoughts and his ships

moored in an invisible post

under the mask a void.

Behind the big eyes, the contoured lips, the curls

glyphs on the gold cover of our existence

a dark point traveling like a fish

in the dawn serenity of pelagos and you see it:

a void everywhere with us.

And the bird that flew away the last winter

with a broken wing

relic of life,

and the young woman who left to play

with the dog-teeth of summer

and the soul that reached the underworld shrieking

and the landscape like a large plane tree leaf swept by

the sun’s torrent

with the ancient temples and contemporary sorrow.

And the lingering poet, looks at the stones and


do they really exist

between these erased lines, the edges, the hollows

the contours

do they really exist

here where the rain’s passing meets with the wind

and ravage

they do exist, the movement of life, the shape of tenderness

of those who faded out so strangely in our lives

of those who remained as shadows of waves and thoughts

in the endlessness of pelagos

or perhaps no, nothing remains but the weight

the nostalgia of the weight of an alive existence

there where we remain unsubstantial bending

like branches of the terrible willow tree piled in

the continued despair

while the yellow current slowly carries down rushes

uprooted in the mud

image of a form turned into stone by the sentence

of an everlasting bitterness.

The poet a void.

The sun carrying a shield rose fighting

and from depths of the cave a startled bat

pierced the light like an arrow pierces a shield:

Ασίνην τε  Ασίνην τε…’ As though it was her

the king of Asini

who we have so carefully searched for on this


sometimes touching with our fingers his touch

on the stones.

Asini, summer ’38—Athens Jan ‘40     

~Geoprge Seferis

~Translation Manolis Aligizakis