‘Eroticism in the Poetry of Manolis Aligizakis’ by Alexandra Bakonika
Poet Manolis Aligizakis has familiarized himself with the tragedy by seeing life through the multi-faceted lens of observation and by living experiences that gave him the ability to perceive first-hand the injustice, exploitation, greediness and the various expressions of violence. Unquestionably the ugliness of this world saddens him like a wound that doesn’t heal. When he feels uncertain with himself and divided in two we find in his poetry a messianic sense that leads him to wish to change the world and make it better free of all ugliness and lawlessness. However he has no illusion that idealism, visions and civility are things easily accomplished. If great gestures and practical action retreat before the opposition, at least what one can achieve through messianic ideas is the beauty through poetry that brings harmony, enjoyment and ultimately truth.
Can Manolis channel beauty as easily as he describes it in his verse? “an old time leader/like an anointed and pious/a musical instrument of free flowing innocence/ready to speak with words that relieve the pain and free the spirit?” Yes and his main tool is his first hand experience of the power of Eros. His psychological makeup draws and transmits authenticity and felicity based on his adoration of and being adored by feminine figures sensual and provocative exposing him into an ecstatic transcendence through their lusting bodies and their devoted deep love and understanding. It’s obvious he finds his contention in being passionately in love with his beloved.
He doesn’t hide that before he was born he wanted to become “a festival song/a bird’s flutter/an evening vesper/a simple sigh/that will scar the lips of his beloved.” If he feels powerless before the inconceivable and undefined Fate, he declares a woman’s embrace invites him and he likes to give in to her passion: “obscure and vague circle/forever indeterminable/and this, the command/and this, the obedience/and this, the orgasm/ and this, the Eros/and this is you.” He feels that being favored by Eros he diffuses his fiery passion with light that fills his erotic verses. As a gallant defender of lust and sensuality and of the true emotions of love he hands down delight and exhilaration of the soul.
Idealism as well as pragmatism, messianism but also tradition in the languor of the senses, love affairs devoted to the ephemeral satisfaction and erotic drunkenness compose the variations of his vast poetic content. Having the maturity of an accomplished poet and the ability to craft evocative imagery in a personal way the poet introduces us in what constitutes the most brilliant expression of his innermost thoughts and beliefs opposite the world of his time and age.
In his book “Ubermensch” his eroticism is somewhat subdued although is part of Manolis’ imagery along with his messianism which is the main stigma Manolis introduces us to in his very first poem.
….truly we accepted it: our God was dead.
Buried him yesterday afternoon with no songs,
no paeans, nor lamentations and we felt a lot lighter. ….
while fear, I would say, was hidden deep in our hearts. ….
and in an eyrie we filled our chalice with courage
and we mailed it to the four corners of the universe
and promised never to be trapped again in the idiocy of a system.
The Andian condor we declared heir of the flesh.
The wind and the rain we proclaimed our catharsis.
Evoe, oh, free elements, evoe.
A big part of the western philosophy since the end of Medieval Times doubted the existence of God although that doubt was subdued concealed because of the fear of the church. Only Nietzsche dared stand up and declare the death of God and in its place he proposed the Ubermensch-Superman. Manolis’ poetic vision in in his book Ubermensch is based upon this daring mind of the German philosopher. However who is Ubermensch? What values does he promote for the tormented world? These questions find their answers in this poetry collection which is a way of initiation for encouragement and exaltation. Ubermensch is the great initiate who guides man onto a long and tiring process that will free his soul from the clutches of dogmas thus hoping to contribute to his happiness. He evangelizes man’s rebirth and renewal through gaining free will which is the basis of every spiritual lifting in this earthly life, the only one we have, while the metaphysical hope of the Christian after life is negated.
Free will leads to search, doubt, continuous quest for knowledge, to the brotherhood of men for a more just and more sunlit world, fundamentally it leads to an effort to make the conditions of life better based on self- knowledge and virtue. On the other hand earthly enjoyment shouldn’t be put aside. The Apollonian spirit has to walk parallel to the Dionysian revelry. Dancing, music, poetry possess a central role in the philosophical exaltation Ubermensch proposes. He prompts us to enjoy the delightful aspect of life, to taste it with all our senses. Drunkenness through joy empowers the spirit to endure the arduous path toward philosophy and virtue.
Manolis Algizakis has no illusions that the gaining of free will and spirit is an easy path to follow, it does demand spiritual strength and as an introduction to this poetry book he declares quite clearly:
“For those who dare melt into the concept of freedom and for an infinitesimal fraction of time they can claim: freedom I am. This book is not for the faint-hearted. Dare to read.”
For this poet, the initiates and initiated, the rope walkers and the Ubermenschen resemble a tree that grows and stares the ever brilliant sun while their limbs root deep into the abyss. They have to follow this inescapable duality in order to succeed in the battle of man against the beast.
Jun 14, 2016 – ENEKEN
Greek version first published in Thessaloniki, Greece; English version published at the Libros Libertad web site.