Archive for the ‘Greek Canadian Writers’ Category

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ΒΕΒΑΙΟΤΗΤΑ ;

 

Η κάθε λέξη είναι ένα θαύμα — είπε ο Αλέξανδρος. Σηκώνω

μια μικρή πέτρα, βρίσκω δυο μερμήγκια — το `να κουτσαίνει,

στέκομαι στο παράθυρο, ρίχνω τα μύγδαλα στο δρόμο, βλέπω

τον όμορφο δρομέα να χάνεται κάτω απ’ τα δέντρα. Ακούγεται

το κουδούνι της πόρτας. Πριν ανοίξω, μπαίνει η Ουρανία

κρατώντας ένα δίσκο σκεπασμένο με τα χαμένα κλειδιά μου.

 

 

 

CERTAINTY ?

 

Every word is a miracle – Alexander said. I lift

a small stone, I find two ants – one of them limps;

I stand by the window, I throw the almonds down the street; I see

the handsome runner vanishing under the trees. The doorbell

is heard. Before I open, Urania enters

holding a covered platter with my lost keys.

 

 

www.libroslibertad.com

www.manolisaligizakis.com

www.ekstasiseditions.com

 

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ΑΝΑΠΑΝΤΗΤΑ

 

Ήρθαν μαντατοφόροι, φέραν μηνύματα,

κάνιστρα, γλάστρες, ανθοδέσμες, κιβώτια,

ένα τεράστιο ασημένιο κηροπήγιο. Ο άνεμος

έριχνε κάτω τα δέντρα της αυλής. Ο υπηρέτης

ψυχρός, παρελάμβανε τα δώρα, υποκλινόταν.

Η αίθουσα της υποδοχής ήταν κλειστή. Τίποτα

δεν ακουγόταν μες στο σπίτι — βήματα, τρίξιμο, ομιλία

ή χτύπος μαχαιριών και ποτηριών. Ωστόσο

είδα απ’ την τζαμαρία ξαπλωμένο τον Οικοδεσπότη

επάνω στο μαρμάρινο τραπέζι, κι ένα αγόρι

του χτένιζε ήσυχα τη μακριά, μαύρη γενειάδα.

 

 

 

UNANSWERED

 

Messengers came, they brought news,

baskets, flowerpots, bouquets, boxes,

a huge silver candle holder. The wind

pushed down the trees of the yard. The cool

servant accepted the gifts; he bowed.

The receiving hall was closed. Nothing

was heard inside the house – footsteps, creaking, talk

nor clink of knives and glasses. However

I saw through the glass the Host lying down

on the marble table and a boy was slowly

combing his long, black beard.

 

 

 

YANNIS RITSOS-SELECTED POEMS, translated by Manolis Aligizakis, Ekstasis Editions, Victoria, BC, 2013

 

www.libroslibertad.com

www.manolisaligizakis.com

 

merging dimensions cover

 

THE SECOND ADVENT OF ZEUS REVIEW

By João da Penha

 

 

POET, OF FACT.

 

 

Singing, everyone sings, but singers only about ten or twelve.

 

The boutade, they say, is by Frank Sinatra, whose remarkable vocal skills – it seems to me – have not been contested to this day.

To paraphrase the song of the great American singer, it can be said that there are not so many poets like this in the world – here and elsewhere, yesterday and today. I suspect that there will never be many poets, or at least many great poets. At least, I am convinced, not as many as the growing number of edited collections suggest, by marketing strategy arts, just under hyperbolic titles.

Many poetic exercise exercises it, or imagine exercising it. But to make great poetry is grace granted to a minority; to a caste of elect, therefore.

Schiller, by the way, has already warned that it is not enough to create good verses so that its author considers himself a poet. Now, to do verses, almost everyone, at some point in life, has already done. To make POETRY, however, is the road traveled by the minority referred to above. Only she, this chosen caste, has the map of the trail. Whoever holds it, who knows how to read it, interprets its coordinates, leads the others, that is, all of us, who have formed this majority, as creators, of the poetic territory, only by traveling, if sensitive to the Muses, as travelers. For the senseless, the tour of this territory will be nothing more than mere tourism.

Eric Ponty has the map of the trail. He is an authentic poet. Maturity is everything, the supreme bard in the “King Lear” told us. Poet, owner of his craft, poet who reached the full domain of poetic making.

His poetic virtuosity, Ponty has already shown and demonstrated in the magnificent “Retirement Boy Goes to the Circus in Brodowski” (Musa Publishing House, São Paulo, 2003.) In this book with its translation, our poet only makes it reaffirmed. For example when translating this stanza of Manolis’ poem Apollo, which reminds us of Paul Valéry’s Socratic prose in Eupalinos Lame et la Danse Dialogue De L arbre:

 

APOLLO

 

And I grew under Apollo’s sun

 

minutes of expressiveness

alone in darkness and

before I opened my eyes

I was accompanied

by the law of failure

born blind and

accused of heresy

a revolution in its making

even before I could utter

a groan or a begging cry

 

I gathered all my strength

to pick a date with death

hours before I appeared

in my mother’s arms

newborn festivity

error permitted

two legs just to walk

a heart as if

to feel emotion and

other human traces

of grandeur

 

 

 

APOLO

 

E eu cresci sob o sol de Apolo

 

Minutos de expressividade

Sozinho nas trevas e

Antes de abrir os meus olhos

Eu estava acompanhado

Pela lei da bobagem

 

Nasceu cega e

Acusada de heresia

Uma conflagração na sua fazendo

Mesmo antes que eu pudesse articular

Um suspiro ou um grito a mendigar

 

Eu ajuntei toda minha força

A seleção de uma data com a morte

Horas antes eu semelhava

Nos meus braços da minha mãe

Festa de um recém-nascido

Erro admitido

As duas pernas apenas a pé

Um coração como se

Sentisse à emoção e

Outros traços humanos

Da grandeza

 

This defense can be translated as the recognition that poets inhabit a province where logic does not bow down to the principles that govern the empirical world (nothing is more real than nothing, pre-Socratic Democritus preached). Poets know that. That’s why your particular logic. Particular, but not arbitrary. Particular because only they have the “kingdom key”.

Croce and Vossler, the memory comes to me now, they polemicized around the phrase: “The round table is square”. For the Italian thinker, the phrase would sum up to a total absence of meaning, illogical, while the German critic saw it as true, aesthetically and grammatically valid, caring little that logically impossible. Vossler, like so many others, before and after him, realized that the poet is the one who creates realities. Poets are creators of worlds. Therefore, in the poems translated by Eric Ponty, a musician, as well as a poet, he follows the Wagnerian advice that the poet does nothing but stimulate the understanding, leading the reader to make new combinations on the subject already known by means of sensory perception.

If, as Ponty tells us in one of the translated poems, “In My Mother’s Arms /newborn festivity / error permitted / two legs just to walk” it is equally true that we should listen to what poets have to say (few decipher the world better than poets, neighbors to philosophers). Eric Ponty, at the height of his creative force, has much to tell us through these translations as he did with Manolis-a Canadian Greek poet who’s credit is The Second Advent of Zeus a masterful piece.

 

“…for his sustained reflection, for a lyrical voice, and an invitation to see life not as a barren subject, but as a complex dynamic that has its own extraordinary design and imago of truth” as Ilya Tourtidis tells us, it is urgent that we listen to Manolis’ voice through the translation of the poet-translator Ponty, one of the most talented of his time.

 

 

 

João da Penha, a journalist and retired professor, collaborated in cultural publications such as Encounters with Brazilian Civilization, Cult and Tempo Brasileiro. Author, among other books, of What Is Existentialism (Brasiliense, 2011, 17. ed.) And Philosophical Periods (Ática 2000, 4. ed.), Translated for magazines and newspapers poems by Russians Sierguêi Iessiênin and Alieksandr Blok, and short stories By José María Argüedas, Júlio Cortázar and Gabriel García Márquez, published in The first short stories of ten masters of Latin American narrative (Paz e Terra, 1978). How to read Wittgenstein. São Paulo: Paulus, 2013.

 

 

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ΣΑΝ ΔΕΣΜΗ ΑΠΟ ΤΡΙΑΝΤΑΦΥΛΛΑ

 

Σὰν δέσμη ἀπὸ τριαντάφυλλα
εἶδα τὸ βράδυ αὐτό.
Κάποια χρυσή, λεπτότατη
στοὺς δρόμους εὐωδιά.
Καὶ στὴν καρδιὰ
αἰφνίδια καλοσύνη.
Στὰ χέρια τὸ παλτό,
στ᾿ ἀνεστραμμένο πρόσωπο ἡ σελήνη.
Ἠλεκτρισμένη ἀπὸ φιλήματα
θά ῾λεγες τὴν ἀτμόσφαιρα.
Ἡ σκέψις, τὰ ποιήματα,
βάρος περιττό.

Ἔχω κάτι σπασμένα φτερά.
Δὲν ξέρω κἂν γιατί μᾶς ἦρθε
τὸ καλοκαῖρι αὐτό.
Γιὰ ποιὰν ἀνέλπιστη χαρά,
γιὰ ποιὲς ἀγάπες
γιὰ ποιὸ ταξίδι ὀνειρευτό.

 

 

BOUQUET OF ROSES

 

 

I saw this evening

like a bouquet of roses

a faint fragrance

golden abundant in the street

and in the heart

sudden benevolence

the overcoat on hand

the moon on the turning face

you could say the atmosphere

was electrified by the kisses

thoughts and poems

needless weight.

 

I have my broken wings

I don’t know why

this summer is upon us

for which hopeless joy

for which love

for which dreamy voyage?

 

 

KARYOTAKIS-POLYDOURI//The Tragic Love Story, Translated by Manolis Aligizakis, Libros Libertad, Vancouver, BC, 2016

www.manolisaligizakis.com

www.libroslibertad.com

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ΑΝΑΣΤΑΣΗ

Κοιτάζει πάλι, παρατηρεί, διακρίνει
μέσα σε μιαν απόσταση χωρίς καθόλου νόημα,
μες στη διάρκεια που πια δεν ταπεινώνει,
τους σβώλους ναφθαλίνης στη χαρτοσακκούλα,
τα ξερά κληματόφυλλα στον τρύπιο κουβά,
το ποδήλατο στ’ αντικρυνό πεζοδρόμιο.
Άξαφνα
ακούει το χτύπημα πίσω απ’ τον τοίχο,
το ίδιο εκείνο, συνθηματικό, καταμόναχο,
το βαθύτερο χτύπημα. Αισθάνεται αθώος
πούχει ξεχάσει τους νεκρούς.
Τις νύχτες, τώρα
δε χρησιμοποιεί ωτασπίδες—τις έχει αφημένες
μες στο συρτάρι του μαζί με τα παράσημά του
και με την πιο αποτυχημένη τελευταία του προσωπίδα.
Μονάχα που δεν ξέρει άν είναι η τελευταία.
RESURRECTION

He looks again, observes, discerns
in a distance that has no meaning at all,
in the continuance that doesn’t humiliate anymore,
the moth balls in the paper bag,
the dry grape leaves in the leaky pail,
the bicycle on the opposite sidewalk.
Suddenly
he hears the knock behind the wall,
that same one, coded, totally alone,
the deepest knock. He feels innocent
that he has forgotten the dead.
At night, now, he doesn’t
use earplugs anymore – he’s left them
in the drawer along with his medals
and with his last most unsuccessful mask.
Only he doesn’t know whether it’s the last one.

~Γιάννη Ρίτσου-ποιήματα/Μετάφραση Μανώλη Αλυγιζάκη
~Yannis Ritsos-Poems/translated by Manolis Aligizakis
http://www.authormanolis.wordpress.com
http://www.ekstasiseditions.com
http://www.libroslibertad.ca

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ΚΑΜΙΑ φορά, ξυπνάω τη νύχτα, ανάβω τη λάμπα και στέκο-
μαι εκεί, απέναντι στον ξένο, το πρωί βέβαια, δεν έμενε τίποτα,
μονάχα ένα ανεπαίσθητο σημάδι, που θα μπορούσε να το πάρει κα-
νείς για μια σταγόνα κερί, ενώ ήταν ίσως το ασυγχώρητο που
κανείς δεν το`βλεπε, μόνο το παλιό λησμονημένο όργανο ακουγό-
ταν στο υπόγειο, και θα `πρεπε να `χω θάψει, Θεέ μου, από καιρό
τα ενθύμια, γιατί και το αναπόφευκτο έτσι ελάχιστα αρχίζει,
καθόμουν, λοιπόν, τις νύχτες στη σκάλα περιμένοντας αυτόν
που θα νικούσε τον σιωπηλό κόσμο, και θα `παιρνε τη μεγάλη βελό-
να του πλεξίματος που κρατούσα, σαν τις γυναίκες, την ώρα που οι
άλλοι κοιμούνται, αφηρημένες πάνω στο εργόχειρο, έχουν ακολου-
θήσει κιόλας εκείνον που αιώνια μας προσπερνά.

SOMETIMES during the night I wake up Ι light the lamp and
stand there opposite the foreigner; at daybreak of course nothing was
left but an imperceptible mark that one could take as a drop of
wax while it was, perhaps the unforgivable which no one could see
only the old forgotten organ was heard in the basement, oh God,
I should have long ago buried all the mementos because even
the inescapable commences as simple as that,
yet at night I would sit by the stairs and wait for the one who
would defeat the silent world and would take the big needle of cross
stitching I held like women who while the others were asleep,
lost in their embroidery, have already followed the one who
forever walks ahead of us.

~Τάσου Λειβαδίτη-Εκλεγμένα Ποιήματα/Μετάφραση Μανώλη Αλυγιζάκη
~Tasos Livaditis-Selected Poems/Translated by Manolis Aligizakis
http://www.libroslibertad.ca
http://www.authormanolis.wordpress.com

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ΜΑΡΤΙΑΙ ΕΙΔΟΙ
Τά μεγαλεία νά φοβάσαι, ώ ψυχή.
Καί τές φιλοδοξίες σου νά υπερνικήσεις
άν δέν μπορείς, μέ δισταγμό καί προφυλάξεις
νά τές ακολουθείς. Κι όσο εμπροστά προβαίνεις,
τόσο εξεταστική, προσεκτική νά είσαι.

Κι όταν θά φθάσεις στήν ακμή σου, Καίσαρ πιά
έτσι περιωνύμου ανθρώπου σχήμα όταν λάβεις,
τότε κυρίως πρόσεξε σάν βγείς στόν δρόμον έξω,
εξουσιαστής περίβλητος μέ συνοδεία
άν τύχει καί πλησιάσει από τόν όχλο
κανένας Αρτεμίδωρος, πού φέρνει γράμμα,
καί λέγει βιαστικά «Διάβασε αμέσως τούτα,
είναι μεγάλα πράγματα πού σ’ ενδιαφέρουν»,
μή λείψεις να σταθείς, μή λείψεις ν’ αναβάλλεις
κάθε ομιλίαν η δουλειά μή λείψεις τούς διαφόρους
πού σέ χαιρετούν καί προσκυνούν νά τούς παραμερίσεις
(τούς βλέπεις πιό αργά) άς περιμένει ακόμη
κ’ η Σύγκλητος αυτή, κ’ευθύς νά τά γνωρίσεις
τά σοβαρά γραφόμενα τού Αρτεμιδώρου.
THE IDES OF MARCH
Beware of grandeur, oh soul.
And if you can not overcome your ambitions,
pursue them with hesitant precaution.
And the more you go forward, the more
inquiring and careful you must be.

And when you reach your zenith, as a Caesar at last;
when you take on the role of such a famous man,
then most of all be careful when you go out on the street,
like any famous master with your entourage,
if by chance some Artemidoros approaches
out of the crowd, bringing you a letter,
and says in a hurry “Read this at once,
these are serious matters that concern you,”
don’t fail to stop; don’t fail to postpone
every speech or task; don’t fail to turn away
the various people who greet you and bow to you
(you can see them later); let even the Senate wait,
for you must consider at once
the serious writings of Artemidoros.

It’s my pleasure to inform you that the International Academy Mihai Eminescou has invited me to their 4th Poetry Festival, in Craiova, Romania to be held in May. Needless to say I’m totally excited; and yes, I’ll attend and after it straight to my motherland!

Με ιδιαίτερη χαρά σας ενημερώνω ότι η Ακαδημία Μιχαήλ Εμινέσκου με έχει προσκαλέσει στο 4ο Φεστιβάλ Ποίησης που θα διεξαχθεί το Μάϊο στην Κραϊόβα της Ρουμανίας. Περιττό να πω ότι πετώ στα σύννεφα! Και, ναι, θα πάρω μέρος, κι αμέσως μετά μαζί σας εκεί στην πατρίδα!

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nostos and algos cover

ΑΔΙΑΙΡΕΤΟ

Στάθηκε ανάμεσα στους τάφους
με τ’ αγαλματίδια να παριστάνουν
νεκρούς συντρόφους
και το αεράτο του χαμόγελο αντανακλούσε
δόξα παλιάς εποχής.
Ξάφνου βύθισε τα μάτια του στα δικα μου,
ένας στεναγμός απαλός
σαν του μικρού αγάλματος ακούστηκε
ν’ αφήνει τα χείλη του, σαν να `λεγε—
μοναχά αυτό το αέρινο χαμόγελο θα παραμείνει
να το θυμάσαι την ώρα της δικαιοσύνης.

Αυτό μόνο το χαμόγελο θα παραμείνει
τ’ άλλα όλα μαραίνονται και σβύνουν
σαν τ’ άρωμα γιακίνθου στον αγέρα,
σαν την αγάπη σου για τη γυναίκα,
όλα χάνονται σαν μέσα από σίτα
άμμος στα δάχτυλα σου.

Μα τούτη η στιγμή για πάντα θα κρατήσει
γιατι το τώρα δεν μπορέσανε ποτέ
να το διαιρέσουν σαν τ’ άλλα,
που γι’ αυτά έχουνε βρει
σταθμά και τεμαχίδια και συστατικά

UNDIVIDED

He stood amid the gravestones
and the statuette resembling
our dead comrades
with his airy smile still reflecting
bygone glorious days.
Suddenly his eyes dived deep in mine
he let a sigh go as silently as
the statuette’s saying: only
this graceful smile will stay forever
remember this at the hour of reckoning.

Only this graceful smile remains
all the rest perish, they vanish
like the hyacinth’s fragrance
in the wind’s teeth
like your love for a woman
all disappear like the sand through a sieve
or the fingers of your hand.

Yet this moment will last forever
because only the now can’t be divided
for everything else they have found
pieces, fractions, and elements.

~Nostos and Algos, Ekstasis Editions, Victoria, BC, 2012

cavafy copy.jpg

 

ΤΥΑΝΕΥΣ ΓΛΥΠΤΗΣ

Καθώς πού θά τό ακούσατε, δέν είμ’ αρχάριος.
Κάμποση πέτρα από τά χέρια μου περνά.
Καί στήν πατρίδα μου, τά Τύανα, καλά
μέ ξέρουνε κ’ εδώ αγάλματα πολλά
μέ παραγγείλανε οι συγκλητικοί.

Καί νά σάς δείξω
αμέσως μερικά. Παρατηρείστ’ αυτήν τήν Ρέα
σεβάσμια, γεμάτη καρτερία, παναρχαία.
Παρατηρείστε τόν Πομπήϊον. Ο Μάριος
ο Αιμίλιος Παύλος, ο Αφρικανός Σκιπίων.
Ομοιώματα, όσο πού μπόρεσα, πιστά.
Ο Πάτροκλος (ολίγο θά τόν ξαναγγίξω).
Πλησίον στού μαρμάρου τού κιτρινωπού
εκείνα τά κομάτια, είν’ ο Καισαρίων.

Καί τώρα καταγίνομαι από καιρό αρκετό
νά κάμω έναν Ποσειδώνα. Μελετώ
κυρίως γιά τ’ άλογά του, πώς νά πλάσσω αυτά.
Πρέπει ελαφρά έτσι νά γίνουν πού
τά σώματα, τά πόδια των νά δείχνουν φανερά
πού δέν πατούν τήν γή, μόν τρέχουν στά νερά.

Μά νά τό έργον μου τό πιό αγαπητό
πού δούλεψα συγκινημένα καί τό πιό προσεκτικά
αυτόν, μιά μέρα τού καλοκαιριού θερμή
πού ο νούς μου ανέβαινε στά ιδανικά
αυτόν εδώ ονειρευόμουν τόν νέο Ερμή.

 

SCULPTOR OF TYANA
As you may have heard, I am not a beginner.
Some good quantity of stone goes through my hands.
And in my home country, Tyana, they know me
well; and here the senators have ordered
a number of statues from me.

Let me show you
some right now. Have a good look at this Rhea;
venerable, full of forbearance, really ancient.
Look closely at Pompey. Marius,
Aemilius Paulus, the African Scipio.
True resemblances, as true as I could make them,
Patroklos (I’ll have to touch him up a bit).
Close to those pieces
of yellowish marble over there, is Caesarion.

And for a while now I have been busy
creating a Poseidon. I carefully study
his horses in particular, how to shape them.
They have to be so light that their bodies,
their legs, show that they don’t touch
the earth, but run over water.

But here is my most beloved creation,
that I worked with such feeling and great care
on a warm summer day,
when my mind ascended to the ideals,
I had a dream of him, this young Hermes.