Archive for 30/07/2014

Tasos Livaditis_Vanilla


Είμαστε αιχμάλωτοι του ανεξήγητου και του αιώνια χαμένου
κι η τύψη είναι ο μόνος τρόπος να ξαναγυρίσουμε στην παιδική
αγνότητα —
ώ παλιέ φίλε που έφυγες, ξέρω ότι θα σε συναντήσω σε κάποιο
όνειρο ή άξαφνα στο δρόμο όταν όλα θα ` χουν χαθεί,
γυναίκες που αγαπήσαμε ενώ έξω απ’ τα παράθυρα δυνάμωνε
η βροχή
κι ύστερα πιασμένοι απ’ το χέρι περάσαμε τη γέφυρα, με τα μαλ-
λιά σας βρεγμένα να λαμπυρίζουν στο ηλιοβασίλεμα —
ποιος θα το πίστευε αλήθεια πως υπήρξε ένας καιρός που δίναμε
τη ζωή μας
μ’ εκείνον τον αδιάκοπο πυρετό σαν τ’ άρρωστα παιδιά που όταν
αναρρώσουν δεν τους χωράνε τα παιδικά τους ρούχα
και στο σχολειό τα κοροιδεύουν — και γεμίζουν τα τετράδιά τους
με ποιήματα
για να μη χαθούν. Κι ύστερα έρχεται η ενηλικίωση σαν ένα ναυά-

Ώ λυκόφως, δίκαιη ώρα, που και στα πιο ταπεινά πράγματα
δίνεις μια σημασία πριν έρθει η νύχτα.


We are captives of the inexplicable and of the forever lost
and remorse is the only way to return to the innocence
of youth —
oh, my old departed friend, I know I’ll meet you again in
a dream or suddenly in the street when all is lost
women who we loved while outside the windows the rain
then holding hands we passed the bridge, your wet hair
shone in the sundown —
who could believe it, really, that it was a time when we would
even give our lives
with that unstoppable fever like the sick children who
when the get well they don’t fit in their childhood cloths
and they are mocked in school — and they fill their
notebooks with poems
so that they won’t be lost. And then adulthood comes like
a shipwreck.

Oh, twilight, hour of justice, you pay attention to the most
humble things before nightfall.

Tasos Livaditis (Anastasios Panteleimon Livaditis) was born in Athens April 20, 1922, son of Lissandros Livaditis and Vasiliki Kontoloulou. He was enrolled in the Law School of the University of Athens. German occupation interrupted his studies and his involvement with the Resistance and the political party EPON. His father, bankrupt by this time died during the occupation years and while the poet was exiled in Makronisos his mother also died. In 1946 he got married to Maria Stoupa, the valuable companion of his life and they had a daughter, Vassiliki. That same year he made his first literary appearance with the publication of his poem The Hatzidimitri Song in Elefthera Grammata. In 1947 he coordinated the release of the literary magazine Themelio. The years 1948-1952 he was exiled in Moudros, Saint Stratis, Makronisos along with all leftist artists and thinkers, Yannis Ritsos, Aris Alexandrou, Manos Katrakis, and many others. In 1952 his poetry books Battle at the Edge of the Night and This Star is for all of us were noticed. Three years later he was taken by the police because of his book It Blows in the Crossroads of the World but he was acquitted. His book Women with Equine Eyes, 1958, was a landmark in his literary career and his turn into the introverted and existential poetry of his middle life. In 1961 he went on a country tour along with Mikis Theodorakis who presented his poems set in music and Tasos Livaditis interacted with the audience reciting his poems and talking to them. The same year he collaborated with Kosta Kotzias in the writing of the script and the poems for the Alekos Alexandrakis film Neighbourhood of Dreams which was the turning point of Greek cinema but which was censored by the police. Livaditis co-operated with the newspaper Avgi from 1954-1980 with the exception of seven years during the dictatorship of the four colonels and with the magazine Art Review1962-1966 where he published a few political reviews and critiques. During the dictatorship 1967-1974 he translated various Greek literary works for commercial magazines in order to earn his living while he reminiscent the old days of the struggle and he reflected at the harshness of modern day life something he couldn’t accept a stand that reflected in his poetry of those days and in particular in his book Night Visitor. In 1986 he published his book Violets for a Season which is considered his swan song. He died in Athens, October 30th 1988 of an abdominal aneurism. The rest of his hand written poems were published after his death in a book titled Autumn Handwritings.
He was the recipient of the First Poetry Prize in the World Youth Poetry Festival of Warsaw 1953, the First Poetry Prize of the City of Athens, 1957; the second National Literary Prize for poetry 1976; the First National Literary prize for poetry 1979.
Livaditis was a founding member of the Company of Writers.
His verses were set in music by Mikis Theodorakis, Manos Loizos, George Tsagaris and other Greek music composers.
~Τάσου Λειβαδίτη-Εκλεγέμα Ποιήματα/Μετάφραση Μανώλη Αλυγιζάκη
~Tasos Livaditis-Selected Poems/Translated by Manolis Aligizakis