Archive for November, 2014



I’m very pleased to inform you that my poems JUSTIFICATION and AMORPHOUS from the book AUTUMN LEAVES, Ekstasis Editions, 2014, translated into Arabic by Ali Znaidi, were published in the literary magazine Qaba Qaosayan, in Jordan. I extend my deepest appreciation to the translator Ali Znaidi who submitted them.

Two poems by Greek-Canadian poet Emmanuel Aligizakis (Manolis) translated into Arabic by Ali Znaidi appeared in the electronic Arabic cultural newspaper, Qaba Qaosayn (At Two Bow ‘ s Length) (Jordan)



ΕΚ ΠΡΩΤΗΣ όψεως, βέβαια, όλοι φαίνονται απροσδόκητα
ενώ αυτό που φοβόμαστε έχει γίνει από καιρό, κι ήτανε μέσα μας,
κι εμείς το πηγαίναμε στην επικίνδυνη ώρα και συχνά σταματού-
σες στη μέση της σκάλας, γιατί ποιός ξέρει πού είναι το άλλο
σκαλοπάτι, ιδιαίτερα το βράδυ καθώς διάβαινες τις άδειες κάμα-
ρες, σου `πεφτε πάντα κάτι απ’ τα χέρια, σαν να `θελε να ξαναγυ-
ρίσει, και τότε, όπως γονάτιζες να το βρεις, συναντούσες τον
αφού κάθε κίνηση μας προδίνει, κι ένα άλλο ποτήρι σηκώνεις
απ’ αυτό που πήγαινες, προτίμησα, λοιπόν, να σωπάσω, μα όταν
μες στο σκοτάδι χτύπησαν μεσάνυχτα, όλο το σπίτι ράγισε άξαφνα,
και τότε, στο βάθος του διαδρόμου, το είδαμε που πέρασε εντελώς
AT FIRST glance of course everything seem to be unexpected
while what we’ve feared had already taken place and was inside us
and we carried it to the dangerous hour and often you would stop
in the middle of the stairs because, who knows where was the next
step; especially in the night as you walked through the empty rooms
something always fell off your hands as if wanting to return and
then as you’d kneel to find it you would meet the other man
since every gesture gives us up and you carry a different
glass from the one you wanted, I therefore chose to keep silent;
but when in darkness midnight struck suddenly the whole
house shook and then at the end of the hallway we saw him
as he quite clearly walked by us.

~Τάσου Λειβαδίτη-Εκλεγμένα Ποιήματα/Μετάφραση Μανώλη Αλυγιζάκη
~Tasos Livaditis-Selected Poems/Translated by Manolis Aligizakis


The people’s poet in more than one way, Tasos Livaditis stands apart from other poets of his era because of his deep understanding, his heart rendering existential agony, initially expressed as a tender cry filled with compassion within the boundaries of his optimistic realism and on the second phase of his creative career as an introverted search for the meaning of life in the past after the dissolution of his expectations as an artist-fighter for a better future.
The calendar will show October
with the wilted leaves and revolutions

It was October when he said to us farewell. We kept his most recent verses that underscored that message yet not only.

Here I‘ve come to the end. Time to go. As you will also go.
and the ghosts of my life will search for me
running in the night and leaves will shiver and fall.
Autumn comes this way. For this, I say to you,
let us look at life with more compassion, since it was never real.

He never imagined that the ghosts of his life would multiply in such a fast pace soon after his death. The adventure of his vision turned out to become a hardship, the rapid fashion of change in social behaviour and charting even unforeseen by the most suspicious of men truly shifted dramatically in the short nineteen years after his death. Within just one or two years after his death the so called socialistic dream collapsed in an unforgiving way that turned the obviously existent into a fable.

However Livaditis knew deep inside that only the Just Time eventually justifies one. Today the Just Time says about Livaditis that he was one very important poet. He was not at all insignificant although not recognized enough. Because as times passes and values change or shift position the Just Time sets laws and flawless details in the Stock Market of Values.

Tasos Livaditis is one of the last poets who dreamed of a different Greece and gave all he had to turn that dream into reality. He was one of the last who believed in the collective versus the personal even if that collective meant dramatic adventures, not only his exile and persecution but also the adventure of his internal revolution. The person who dreamed of a better world was embittered when he realized the utopia of his vision. Yet he never lost faith in man and although the serious severing that took place in his life scared him he always stood gracefully opposite the descending sun and in that glamour of red dusk he wept alone but with optimism for the future.
Unfortunately his life was cut short and at the age of 66 when he departed leaving a nation to mourn the people’s poet and to reflect and shift their focus toward his vision because the world of the poet is the world of humiliation and exhaustion. It’s the world of bitterness and futility and Tasos Livaditis suffered a lot, was persecuted a lot and pendulated a lot in his life. How else could he write such great poems?

There is a similarity in the life of this man and the life of Yannis Ristsos whom Tasos Livaditis refer to as the teacher. Both men were leftists along with Avgeris, Varnalis, Anagnostakis and others, they were both exiled for their political views, they both left behind a vast bibliography, they both had one daughter and they both went through a poetic shift, a change of focus from writing poetry to serve the cause of the left to writing poetry having in its center the progress, improvement and refinement of the external and internal pleats of man.

In the Introduction of this edition I have added one poem written by Yannis Ritsos and excerpts from reviews written in Greek by friends and close associates of the poet on the twentieth anniversary of Tasos Livaditis’ death. I have translated these excerpts and place them in the order I thought most appropriate. I chose to introduce this great poet to the English speaking world not only with the regular introduction format but also with these comments published by Kedros in 2008, this poet’s exclusive publisher.

The sources of these reviews are referred to in the bibliography of this book.

My heartfelt thank you is extended to Mr. Stelios Petros Halas for granting me his permission to do this translation.

~Manolis Aligizakis



Σε κάμαρη άδεια και μικρή, τέσσαρες τοίχοι μόνοι
και σκεπασμένοι με ολοπράσινα πανιά,
καίει ένας πολυέλαιος ωραίος και κορόνει,
και μες στη φλόγα του την καθεμιά πυρόνει
μια λάγνη πάθησις, μια λάγνη ορμή.

Μές στην μικρή την κάμαρη, που λάμπει αναμένη
από του πολυελαίου την δυνατή φωτιά,
διόλου συνειθισμένο φως δεν είν’ αυτό που βγαίνει.
Γι’ άτολμα σώματα δεν είναι καμωμένη
αυτής της ζέστης η ηδονή.


In a small, empty room, just four walls
covered by solid green pieces of cloth,
a beautiful chandelier burns and blazes;
and in each one of its flames kindles
a lascivious passion, a sensual fever.

In the small room, shining brightly
from the chandelier’s strong flame,
a light that is not at all ordinary.
The rapture of its warmth
is not made for timid bodies.

Κ.Π Καβάφη — C.P. Cavafy-Poems
Μετάφραση Μανώλη Αλυγιζάκη-Translated by Manolis Aligizakis, 2008



Ξεχαστήκαμε σ’ ἐκκλησιές ἀλειτούργητες
ἀπό τοῦ Λεονάρντο τά χρόνια.
Κρεμάσαμε στόν τοῖχο
τήν ἔμορφη πατρόνα τοῦ ρέμπελου
εἰκόνισμα μιᾶς ἀρχέγονης νιότης.
Σε λίμνες
σφηνωμένες στά γένια τῶν βράχων
εἴδαμε τήν ὄψη μας ξένη
νά σκιάζεται τό χαλικισμό τῶν ἀετῶν.
Αὐτό πού ἱστορήσαμε δέν ἦταν δικό μας.
Τούς τζοχανταραίους τῶν πρίνων
στά χαρακώματα κόκκινων λόφων
νά συντρίβουν τό δόρυ τοῦ χειμῶνα.
Τό χορό τῆς πρωίας
πού κρύφτηκε στά σπλάχνα τῆς ὀξυᾶς
καί στή συνοφρύωση τῆς ἀκίνητης πέτρας.
Ὁ δικός μας ἀγώνας
ὁ δικός μας καημός
θάφτηκε στήν ἄκρουγη κόρδα μιᾶς λύρας
πού σάν τήν ἀγγίξεις θά σπάσει.


We lost ourselves in unconsecrated churches
since the days of Leonardo.
On the wall we hanged
the beautiful woman of the loiterer
icon of an ancient youth.
In lakes
wedged between the beard of rocks
we saw our strange features
afraid of the thunderous flapping of eagle wings.
What we recounted wasn’t ours.
Coppers of the holy oak
in the trenches of red hills
that shatter the lance of winter.
Morning dance
that hid in the viscera of the oak
and in the frowning of the motionless stone.
Our struggle
our grief
buried in the unstruck chord of a lyre
that will brake on your touch.

~Δημήτρη Λιαντίνη-Οι Ώρες των Άστρων/Μετάφραση Μανώλη Αλυγιζάκη
~Dimitris Liantinis-Hour of the Stars/Translated by Manolis Aligizakis

From the book “AUTUMN LEAVES” my poem “JUSTIFICATION” presented today by Leaf Press in their forum Monday’s Poem

manolis' pic


autumn leaves cover


I strode over
fallen branches
victims of last night’s
merciless wind
listened to music in tune
with endless perfection
then the chirp of the bird
raised my head
saw it, a chickadee
on the tree limb

this day
alive that I was