Archive for January, 2022

To Koskino

Every word dictated is the voice of a dead man.
Perished those who didn’t see themselves;
Who in the voice, not in himself, has lived absorbed.
If being a man is little, and big only
To give voice to the value of our feathers
And what’s in our dreams stays in us
From the universe created for us;
If it’s greater to be a God, just sayin
With life what the Man with his voice:
Greater is still to be like Destiny
Who has the silence for your anthem
And whose face never showed up.

  1. IX. 1918.

*The poem discovered in 2016 and it was unpublished.

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Swamped, a novel by Manolis Aligizakis

Posted: 30/01/2022 by vequinox in Literature


His thoughts came back to reality when the familiar sound of Alex turning on his PlayStation intruded into his daydream. The other two boys arrived soon after. Interrupting Alex’s absorption in his PlayStation and calling the other two down from their rooms upstairs, Eteo told them he wanted to take them all out for dinner that night and introduce Alex and Jonathan to his special friend Susan and her daughter Monica. When they enthusiastically endorsed the plan, Eteo proposed going to Trader Vick’s next to the Bayshore Inn Hotel. Logan knew the place already, but for the others it would be their first time there. Again, they all agreed, and Eteo told them to dress well since the place was an upscale restaurant. He also called Susan to check that she and Monica were good for a dinner out, which Susan confirmed. Eteo said he would pick them up around seven o’clock.

He called Trader Vick’s and made a reservation for eight o’clock, and at about seven o’clock he left to collect Susan and Monica, asking Logan to be at the restaurant with the other boys no later than a quarter to eight. Logan promised they would be on time. 

Eteo drove from North Vancouver to Burnaby with a short stop at a corner grocery to buy a rose wrapped in silver paper with a small bow. When he rang Susan’s bell, Monica open the door. Susan was on her way down from upstairs, and Eteo had to smile at the sight of a beautiful woman smiling at him. She had put on a dark green dress with black trim around the collar and at the end of the sleeves and the hem. It went very well with her flowing blonde hair and beautiful eyeshadow. Eteo’s eyes showed his admiration and Susan responded with another smile as she hugged him and received her rose. She cut off half an inch of the stem and placed it in a small vase on her living room table right away. Only then was she ready to go. Eteo escorted mother and daughter to his car, opened and closed the doors for them, and then started the long drive to downtown.

“Where are you taking us, hon?” Susan asked after Eteo had turned onto Kingsway.

“The Bayshore Inn downtown,” Eteo replied. “The boys are on their way in Logan’s car,” he added, watching Monica’s reaction.  She shifted slightly at the news that boys would be present and exchanged a glance with her mother.

They reached Trader Vick’s half an hour later and found the three young men waiting for them in the foyer. Eteo made the introductions, and the hostess took them to their table. As they settled in, there was an unusual chemistry in the air. Eteo watched, amused, as the boys tried to behave like gentlemen in front of Susan and Monica. Their self-consciousness faded in the face of Susan’s and Monica’s unpretentious manners, and soon a good, easy rapport was established that lasted for the rest of the evening.

While they were perusing their menus, Alex suggested they celebrate with a bottle of Dom Perignon, a suggestion that caught Eteo by surprise even though he had told the boys to order whatever they wanted. He remembered Logan in Hawaii once ordering the most expensive lobster dish at an upscale restaurant probably just to test his father, which Eteo had accepted without any comment. Now he wondered if Alex was doing the same thing, but he wasn’t about to break a promise. He called the server over at once and ordered the champagne. Eteo disliked the acidity of champagne. He recalled how, when he was married and every other time, he used to discreetly pass his glass to his wife at any celebration

The server returned in a moment with a broad smile on his face, a bottle of Dom Perignon, and five champagne glasses.

“Six glasses, please,” Eteo told him. The server glanced toward Alex, the only underage person in the group, and turning to Eteo was ready to point out the obvious, but Eteo stopped him and repeated, “Six champagne glasses, please,” in a tone that sent the server to get a sixth glass without another word. Eteo put the extra glass in front of him as if he wanted to be served in two glasses, and the server poured champagne in all six glasses. As the server turned to leave, Eteo slipped the extra glass to Alex, and they all cheered and drank.

Susan and Monica looked at each other as if to acknowledge that this wasn’t something one would normally do in Canada. Eteo, seeing their glances, pointed out that he always had wine at dinner with his parents, even from a very young age, and that this was perfectly acceptable in Hellas.      

“Where I come from, we all share our meals and our wine in the same way,” he said.

Susan just smiled at him while Monica, who was trying champagne for the first time, giggled and sipped at her glass.

Their rest of the evening was beautiful and full of fun. The food was delicious, and they all ate with gusto and emptied their plates. Jonathan kept an eye on Monica, but Logan butted in cheerfully whenever his cousin tried to start a conversation with her. Monica seemed keen on getting to know Jonathan better too, which pleased Eteo. The whole time they were eating he held Susan’s hand under the table and only let go of her in order to make a toast, which he did several times during the meal just to give everyone another reason to interact and feel more comfortable. Logan asked Monica about her future planes, and Alex piped up that he would graduate in another two years himself. Monica asked Jonathan when he would graduate and seemed happy when he told her it would be another two years before he would finish his studies and travel back to Hellas.

Eventually the time came for Eteo to take Susan and Monica home and for the boys to go back to North Vancouver. They said their goodbyes, and Susan made sure to hug all the boys and wish them a good night. Jonathan, Logan, and Monica exchanged phone numbers and promised to go clubbing together one night soon. Then they got in the two cars, and Eteo drove east with Susan and Monica, while the boys headed west for the Lions Gate Bridge. Sitting beside Eteo in the front seat, Susan beamed. Her face was glowing, and she couldn’t hide her joy at meeting Eteo’s sons and nephew.

“Well, sweetheart, how was it?” Eteo asked her.

“I had a great time. I’m so happy” Susan replied, and turning to her daughter, asked, “How did you enjoy the evening, sweetie?”

“I loved it” was Monica’s answer.

When he got them to their house he got out, opened the doors for them, and hugged Monica first and then Susan.

 “Thank you both for a lovely evening,” he said “See you Monday” he added to Susan, who only nodded and smiled.

To Koskino


Παιδί του αγρού,
της πόλης,
του γιαλού.
Εσύ, που λίγο πριν φύγεις
πήρες το βιός του γέροντα
και μυστικά της γερόντισσας ήπιες το φιλί.
Κάτω από ξένους ουρανούς
πριν βυθιστείς στην εγκόσμια λήθη,
κοίτα καλά το βιός τους.
Ένα χλωρό χαλί από χλωμά κυκλάμινα.


Ο αφορισμός πάντα ενθουσίαζε τους γραφιάδες
γι’ αυτό και εγώ περιμένω,
προσμένω να σ’ αγαπήσω
όταν του έρωτα η δύναμη μετριαστεί.
Όσο ακόμα είμαι νέος,
o παραλογισμός αυτοσχεδιάζει
και ενώ το μήνυμα ήταν πάντα
βλαστάρι έξω από μνήμα
ολόγιομο σπαθί,
τετράφυλλη μαργαρίτα η προσέγγιση

η ανθρωπιά
η υπέρβαση
η σκοτωμένη ηθική
η εποχή μου

Α! η εποχή μου
να λούζεται στο τίποτα
έξω από ανάγκη ευτυχισμένη
η αγάπη,
το καλύτερο απ’ όλα θέμα
και λίγο παρακάτω
στο νεκρωμένο σώμα της μαγείας
δέντρο μοναχό και μαραμένο -εσύ-

*Τα ποιήματα και η φωτογραφία της ανάρτησης αναδημοσιεύονται από εδώ:

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Του Κώστα Χατζηαντωνίου, από το Άρδην τ. 120

Ένας επικίνδυνος ξένος τριγυρίζει στα θεμέλια της νεοελληνικής ζωής. Ακατανόητη θα έμοιαζε για πολλούς, ή, εν πάση περιπτώσει, υπερβολική, η απόφανση πως αυτός ο «ξένος» είναι ο κορυφαίος ποιητής του νεοελληνισμού, ο Διονύσιος Σολωμός. Ποιητής που αγνοείται ως προς τη βαθύτερη ουσία του, καθώς η μνήμη του τιμάται μάλλον κατά συνθήκην, αφού οι Έλληνες στέκονται πια μακριά από τον σολωμικό κόσμο και αντιδρούν στη σχολική, επιφανειακή διδασκαλία του και τις μεγαλόστομες χρήσεις, επιδιδόμενοι σε μεταμοντέρνες ασκήσεις παρανάγνωσης. Κατ’ ουσίαν, ο Σολωμός, ως ιδανικός εγκάτοικος της πολιτείας την οποία οραματίσθηκαν οι πρόγονοί μας το 1821 (επιτρέπεται, φαντάζομαι, να το λέμε ακόμη αυτό – αλίμονο, έξι γενιές μάς χωρίζουν) και μέτρο της πνευματικής μας ζωής, μας είναι ξένος, ένας επικίνδυνος ξένος. Γιατί ο ποιητής που αναγορεύθηκε εθνικός όχι επειδή έγραψε τον «Ύμνο εις την Ελευθερία», ή επειδή έθεσε το πλαίσιο της γνήσια νεοελληνικής…

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George Seferis-Collected Poems

Posted: 29/01/2022 by vequinox in Literature




We who started out on this pilgrimage
looked at the broken statues
we lost ourselves and said life is not so easily lost
that death has unfathomable ways
and his own special justice;
that when we died standing on our feet
like brothers inside the stone
united in toughness and weakness
the ancient dead have escaped the circle and have
been reborn
and smile in a peculiar silence.

Εμείς που ξεκινήσαμε για το προσκύνημα τούτο
κοιτάξαμε τα σπασμένα αγάλματα
ξεχαστήκαμε και είπαμε πως δε χάνεται η ζωή τόσο
πως έχει ο θάνατος δρόμους ανεξερεύνητους
και μια δική του δικαιοσύνη,

πως όταν εμείς ορθοί στα πόδια μας πεθαίνουμε
μέσα στην πέτρα αδερφωμένοι
ενωμένοι με τη σκληρότητα και την αδυναμία,
οι παλαιοί νεκροί ξεφύγαν απ’ τον κύκλο και αναστή-
και χαμογελάνε μέσα σε μια παράξενη ησυχία.

~George Seferis-Mythistorema, translated by Manolis Aligizakis, Libros Libertad, Vancouver, BC, 2012

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