Tasos Livaditis – Poems, Volume II


Grant me, my Lord, a ripped page in every book and

this way I walked bravely like the corner of a house

at dawn or a woman who, with her breasts, pushes

sleep aside or the hands of the blind man conniving

          with the fog.

I could, truly, narrate a lot of stories but I’m thinking

to what end since even the most innocent word is

unfortunately a goodbye repeated a thousand times  

          just before the accident

and the server spat in the coffee so he could double

           his wages;

sleep with ravaged musical notes a mix up of dead


children’s letters to God thrown carelessly onto the


and the drunk man walks awkwardly not to step

           on them.

In the evening we gathered around the passing rhetor;

the light breeze stirred the fringes of his coat and

ah, perhaps, the secret was hidden in those few words;

           the truly five cents romance

while fame was always passing from the other road.

My story was simple, I was born about twelve thousand

             years ago

embarrassed as well, while my tea was getting cold on

             the other side of earth;

and he always searched persistently in the dark room

“you’ll find it”, I said to him “but what will you do

           after that?”



Neo-Hellene Poets, an Anthology of Modern Greek Poetry, 1750-2018

Poem by Katerina Anghelaki Rooke


My legs walk  

over the void

my arms embrace emptiness

and my fantasy conspires

with nothingness

what’s happening, what’s happening

and nothing goes ahead?

The haze refuses to become cloud

the moist to become rain

the winter sunrise delays

the reserved melancholy

won’t turn into distress

and the unnamed nightmare

hesitates to mature into a certain fear of death

however here’s a gleaming shadow

I have postponed the coming

of my last day


Übermensch, poetry by Manolis Aligizakis

Εκτελεστικό Απόσπασμα

     Επειδή όλοι θά `θελαν να `ξεραν πού ανήκαν, οι Μοίρες

είχαν το ρόλο τους κι όχι μονάχα που κεντούσαν του καθενός

την ιστορία αλλά και που βοηθούσαν την εξωτερίκευση

του αληθινού εαυτού που ενάντια θα στέκονταν

στην Άβυσσο και τότε πήραμε τα όπλα να πολεμήσουμε

κατά της ίδιας μας της αρετής να εξαλείψουμε όλα

τα ολόχρυσα χαρίσματά μας για να σταθούμε ολόγυμνοι

μπροστά στο δίδαγμα που από μέσα μας ξεπήδαγε κι από

τα χείλη του σοφού μας μύστη.

     Κι αφού όλοι οι δυστυχισμένοι φοβότανε ανύπαρκτα

φαντάσματα, κατάρες κεντητές και ετικέτες βρώμικες,

εικόνες ζωγραφίσαμε της Κόλασης κι αστραφτερό

το Καθαρτήριο παρουσιάσαμε σ’ άσπρες σελίδες 

να τους κρατούν δεσμώτες και μπροστά στο εκτελεστικό

απόσπασμα με μάτια καλυμένα.

     Κι αυτό, είπε, ήταν σωστό και δίκαιο.

~Μου αρέσουν όποιοι μοιάζουν με βαριές σταγόνες

 που αργοπέφτουν από τα κατάμαυρα σύννεφα

 που σκεπάζουν τους ανθρώπους.

Execution Squad

Since everyone always liked to know

where they belonged, the Fates played their role:

not only they embroidered everyone’s history

but they also helped externalize one’s true self

that stood opposite the Abyss and we took

up arms to fight against our virtues, to obliterate

all our golden grace that we would stand naked

before the intuition that sprang up from deep

within us and from the lips of our initiate.

And since the desperate were afraid of in-existent

ghosts, new curses and dirty etiquettes,

we drew images of the Inferno on snow white pages

and we presented the gleaming Purgatory to keep

them eager to learn and blindfolded before

the execution squad.

And this, He said, was good and just.

I like those who resemble heavy drops of rain that

slowly fall from the black clouds which cover men.