Tasos Livaditis//translated by Manolis Aligizakis

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ΥΠΟΜΝΗΣΗ

 

Το δωμάτιο συνοικιακό, με λιγοστά έπιπλα, σαν περικοπή απ’

το Ευαγγέλιο — έτσι τέλειωσαν όλα γρήγορα κι η Ιωάννα κλαί-

γοντας πίσω απ’ το σταθμό, εξάλλου ήταν ένα μυστικό υπέροχο που

το ξεχνούσα μόλις πήγαινα να το πω, άνοιξα τότε τη θήκη του

βιολιού — και μόνο, καμιά φορά, με πιάνει το παράπονο και φοράω

τη γραβάτα μου μ’ έναν τέτοιο τρόπο, που να καταλάβουν, επιτέλους,

ότι είμαι από καιρό κρεμασμένος.

 

 

REMINDER

 

The room was in the suburbs, with a few pieces of furniture

like a Gospel quotation — so everything finished quickly and

Joanna cried and run back to the station; on the other hand it was

a secret that I’d forget it as I tried to mention it; then I opened the

violin case — and only, at sometimes when I grieve, I put on my

tie in such a way that they at least understand

I have been hanging for a long time.

 

~Τάσου Λειβαδίτη-Εκλεγμένα Ποιήματα/Μετάφραση Μανώλη Αλυγιζάκη

~Tasos Livaditis-Selected Poems/Translated by Manolis Aligizakis

www.libroslibertad.ccom

www.manolisaligizakis.com

 

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Yannis Ritsos//translated by Manolis Aligizakis

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ΑΠΟΔΡΑΣΗ

 

Εκεί που περπατούν ξυπόλητοι με φαρδιά πέλματα

εκεί που ψήνουν στα κάρβουνα κόκκινα ψάρια

εκεί που σταυρώνουν μεγάλα χταπόδια στον ήλιο—

δέντρα στις βάρκες, αγέρας στο τρίχωμα του στήθους

γυμνή λησμονιά κι ο πελαγίσιος μύθος της γέννησης,

Ιούλιος μήνας, Δευτέρα, φέγγοντας τ’ αυγά των γλάρων.

 

 

 

BREAKOUT

 

Where they walk barefoot and flat soled,

where they cook red fishes on charcoal,

where they crucify big octopi in the sunlight –

trees in boats, wind in the chest hair

naked forgetfulness and the sea’s myth of birth,

month of July, Monday, gleaming on the seagull eggs.

 

 

www.libsolibertad.com

www.manolisaligizakis.com

 

FEUILLES D’AUTOMNE

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AUTUMN LEAVES REVIEW

 

(English translation of the foreword of “Feuilles d’Automne” by Károly Sándor Pallai, published in Paris by the Éditions du Cygne in 2017)

 

http://www.editionsducygne.com

 

With images spanning from worldliness to metaphysical depths inscribed on these autumn leaves, Manolis offers us a dynamic reinterpretation of the conventional relations, a reframed point of view of our inner universe, of the spirit’s gleaming and of the fluctuation between loss and contention constantly renewing itself and ceaselessly surprising and startling us, thereby outlining the nuanced philosophical portrait of the author. This collection of poems is a textual etching of the poet, a polyphony of lived experiences, impressions, sensations and forebodings. Manolis phrases the essence of his study of ethos and the interpersonal world by probing into the unexplored profundity of human nature, behavior and world of thought. He imposes on himself the daunting task to declare war upon the stumbling and inaccuracy of conventional usage in order to bring to light and to fullness the vibrations of the other world filtering through the crevices of existence.

Breeze, heavenly songs and birds sketch out the flowing dynamics of obscurity and brightness. People transubstantiate in songs and harmonies in order to presage the accomplishment and apogee of the poem and to anticipate the emergence of the aspiration to reach the “endless perfection”, “Eros” and “orgasm” in every sense of the word. The author pursues his quest all the way to the sources of life. The poet, “companion of the infinite”, studies the cracks of existence and erects a textual monument dedicated to the wandering of men who learn to decipher the signs and symbols of the physical and transcendental world, to read the universe by means of the “scent of a red rose”, of “the bird’s first flutter”, “in the wrath of the tempest”, in the rays of sunlight, in the architecture and the psalms of the body and in the flesh of a woman. This collection of poems is woven by the interpenetration of several semantic dimensions: the inter- and intrapersonal axis, nature and love. These texts emphasize the value of the relational dimension of existence. The figures, who compose the verses and who are lost in the “north wind” and in the complexities of the poet’s world, who walk “in the ancestors’ footsteps”, are scattered in archipelagic constellations. Manolis manages with great mastery to postulate as a guiding thread and a central dialectic principle the dream of fullness, the study of the anatomy of hope and sexual desire. The poems unfold in the vital intimacy of nature, eroticism and the transcendental. A character starts to take shape from a sequence of a set of narratives, the figure of a man who constitutes himself by his own narrative activity, by amplifying the voice of his singularity, by contemplating and analyzing the transparency and opacity of his being or by closing on and withdrawing within himself. He conjugates his bonds to the world, giving free rein to the effusions of the text which are at the source of the genesis and complexity of the world and which gravitate around the auto-referential enunciations and around the core of the lyrical subject.

We can discern a voluntary inconsistency at the level of the outlines of identity taking shape in this poetry which is deeply anchored in the memory and in the emotional contents of lived experience. The outlined images form nomad identities permanently engaged in a dynamics of balancing and movement, characterized by far-reaching embranchment and bifurcations and operating against monolithic blocs. The inaccessible, the inexplicable and the ineluctable are the notions and images which mark and characterize the unfolding and the consummation of the poet’s universe in the “orange dusk” of the texts and sensations as they keep lingering like a delicious fragrance which imbues our skin and oozes into our pores. The conscious reflexivity of the author and the complex web of references emphasize the irreducible and inalienable singularity which emerges and unfolds from the verses: the lyrical subject is nurtured by the singularizing effect of the textual flow, by the organization and subjective presentation of lived experience. The oscillation between the semantic axes, the subjects and the diverse methods of approach is deliberate and skillfully worked since it is by means of this fluctuation that the text becomes saturated with a swirling dynamics and transforms the poems into “uncommitted weathervanes” displaying a wide array of nuances and reflections, all the transitions of a color gradient.

The forces of fate appear as well and move into action in order to trace out the limits and to punctuate the traces of remembrance and of productive imagination. The creative intention is audacious and the assembling of heterogeneous and apparently incompatible tesserae shows a great aptitude for awareness and initiative. Manolis rearranges the fragments, the polychrome pieces of his micro-realities and exploded pictures into a totality in order to give consistency to this collection of poems which aspires to nothing less than to comprehend and grasp the essence of life itself. The “drops of the first autumn rain” purify the “crevasses of the mind”, enabling a certain kind of lucidity, a clear-sightedness in order to grant access to a repository of unfulfilled dreams and unsatisfied longings.

Instead of describing the cleavage between the palpability of the material and the intangible nature of the phenomenal and the metaphysical, the poet situates the key poetic challenge of the book in the entanglement of the corporeal, erotic, emotional, spiritual and philosophical axes. That’s where the ego and the identity of the poet expand and enact themselves, where the synthesis of the elements of the essence of life and of the world, of the projection of infinity and of the heterogeneous elements of the identity is achieved. The ego seizes its unity in the multiplicity of feelings, sensations, impressions and images. “Terpsichore’s dance”, a “bloomed rose”, an “olive grove”, the “moist autumn fragrance”, a “canticle” and “the mind’s serenity” are some of the most important unities of construction through which the lyrical subject filters the world and constructs itself in its integrity and in the polyphony of its being.

The portraits, the still lives of everyday scenes become embedded in the poetic vision as an integral part of the objective of the hermeneutics of the self. The subject seeking and discovering itself in the succession and stratification of the verses, images and topoi opens up by narration and remembrance diverse layers which overlap and interpenetrate each other. The quest and the writing of the self are inscribed in the plural semantics of the poems, in a wide variety of the horizons of alterity and in the protean search for the profound values of life. The texts appear as silver gelatin prints, the mystical transcriptions of reality where “light conspires with the wind to craft the soundless poem”.

This poetic universe of being is written at the crossroads of internal and external experiences, of memories of lived experience and of sensations of the self and of the others, of the universe of singularity and the horizon of collectivity. In the poetry of Manolis, the texts, ideas, impressions and sensations become “an instrument of serenity, a song and rhythm” and define the “contours of totality”, of “a fragile cosmos filled with passion, hopes and dreams”. But the poems are also “stigmata and other human scars engraved in the skin” which, by the intensity of their presence and by their “close proximity”, reopen the wounds, touch tender spots and evoke moments of happiness and pleasure that remain forever engraved in our memory. We are thereby witness to the reinterpretation, transubstantiation and apotheosis of everyday scenes of life which, due to the unique colors and vibrations of the author’s voice, become imbued with light, increase in scale and importance and become the cornerstones of a poetry which seeks to embrace, incorporate and absorb life with all its possible facets and nuances.

 

~Karoly Sandor Pallai

Κώστας Καρυωτάκης//Kostas Karyotakis

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ΟΙ ΣΤΙΧΟΙ ΜΟΥ

Δικά μου οἱ στίχοι, ἀπ᾿ τὸ αἷμα μου, παιδιά.
Μιλοῦνε, μὰ τὰ λόγια σὰν κομμάτια
τὰ δίνω ἀπὸ τὴν ἴδια μου καρδιά,
σὰ δάκρυα τοὺς τὰ δίνω ἀπὸ τὰ μάτια.

Πηγαίνουν μὲ χαμόγελο πικρό,
ἀφοῦ τὴ ζωὴν ἀνιστορίζω τόσο.
Ἥλιο καὶ μέρα καὶ ἥλιο τοὺς φορῶ,
ζώνη νὰν τά ῾χουν ὅταν θὰ νυχτώσω.

Τὸν οὐρανὸν ὁρίζουν, τὴ γῆ.
Ὅμως ρωτιοῦνται ἀκόμα σὰν τί λείπει
καὶ πλήττουνε καὶ λιώνουν πάντα οἱ γιοὶ
μητέρα ποὺ γνωρίσανε τὴ Λύπη

Τὸ γέλιο τοῦ ἁπαλότερου σκοποῦ,
τὸ πάθος μάταια χύνω τοῦ φλαούτου·
εἶμαι γι᾿ αὐτοὺς ἀνίδεος ρήγας ποὺ
ἔχασε τὴν ἀγάπη τοῦ λαοῦ του.

Κεῖ ρεύουνε καὶ σβήνουν καὶ ποτὲ
δὲν παύουνε σιγά-σιγὰ νὰ κλαῖνε.
Ἀλλοῦ κοιτώντας διάβαινε, Θνητέ·
Λήθη, τὸ πλοῖο σου φέρε μου νὰ πλένε

 

MY VERSES

 

They are mine, my friends, as if my blood

they speak, like words and pieces

of my heart that I give away

like tears from my eyes that I give you

 

they reach you like saddened smiles

since I narrate my life through them

I the sun I dress them with the sun of day

like belts to keep when a night I become

 

the oversee the sky and the earth

yet they question what is still missing

and they’re bored and they wither

sons who have sorrow as their mother

 

the laughter of the smoothest tune

I echo the passion of the flute

for them I’ve become the ruler

who has lost the love of his people

 

there they floe and they fade never

to stop yet slowly they cry

turn your glance elsewhere oh, mortal

bring your ship oh, forgetfulness that they sail on it.

 

KOSTAS KARYOTAKIS, translated by Manolis Aligizakis

www.manolisaligizakis.com

Yannis Ritsos

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ΑΝΤΑΠΟΚΡΙΣΗ

(Ένας ποιητής μιλάει σ’ έναν ποιητή τού μέλλοντος)

Άν δεν ήξερα πως εσύ θα μ’ ακούσεις μια μέρα
δε θάχα πια τί να πω, δε θα μπορούσα να μιλήσω,
κ’ η αράχνη που μας δίδαξε την κάθετη άνοδο
στο γυμνό τοίχο, θα στάθμευε στο στόμα μου
σπρώχνοντας ίσα μέσα στο λαιμό μου
τα τρία μαύρα κουμπιά του σακκακιού μου
και τ’ άλλα τα λευκά απ’ τις πουκαμίσες των νεκρών.
DISPATCH

(A poet speaks to a future poet)

If I didn’t know that you would listen to me one day
I wouldn’t have anything to say, I couldn’t talk,
and the spider who taught us the vertical ascend
on the bare wall, would have stopped in my mouth
pushing straight inside my larynx
the three black buttons of my coat
and the others the white ones from the nightshirts of the dead.

~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

Tasos Livaditis//Τάσος Λειβαδίτης

Tasos Livaditis_Vanilla

ΚΑΤΩ απ’ το μανδύα ενός άλλου πηγαίνουμε, που προχωράει
σιωπηλός, δίχως όνομα, ίσως γι’ αυτό και πιο αληθινός, κι όταν
σηκώνουμε το κύπελλο, είναι κι εκείνο μες στο μυστικό και δεν
ξεδιψάμε, γιατι η πρόνοια μας θέλει βιαστικούς, ολομόναχους μες
στην υπόσχεση, σαν τα χωράφια που πηγαίνουν σκεπασμένα το
φθινόπωρο, και μόνον όποιος φεύγει ξαναβρήκε την πατρίδα, αφού
κάθε μας λέξη εδώ μια πόρτα σφαλά εκεί ή ένα παράθυρο, κι αυτό
που έρχεται σαν σκόνη ή σαν σφάλμα κάθεται πάνω στο τραπέζι.
Όμως τα βράδια, ο οποιοσδήποτε είναι ένα πρόσωπο προορι-
σμένο.

WE WALK under the heavy coat of someone else who walks on
silently, who has no name, perhaps for this he’s truer to himself and
when we raise the cup it also hides in the secret so we don’t quench
our thirst because providence wants us to be fast, lonely, inside
the promise like the fields that in the fall go covered and only one
who leaves rediscovers his motherland since our every word shuts
a door here or a window there and what comes as dust or mistake sits
on the table.
However at night anybody can be the destined person.

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

C. P. CAVAFY//Κ. Π. ΚΑΒΑΦΗΣ

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Η ΣΑΤΡΑΠΕΙΑ

Τί συμφορά, ενώ είσαι καμωμένος
για τα ωραία και μεγάλα έργα
η άδικη αυτή σου η τύχη πάντα
ενθάρρυνσι κ επιτυχία να σε αρνείται
να σ’ εμποδίζουν ευτελείς συνήθειες
και μικροπρέπειες, κι αδιαφορίες.
Και τί φρικτή η μέρα που ενδίδεις
(η μέρα που αφέθηκες κ’ ενδίδεις)
και φεύγεις οδοιπόρος για τα Σούσα,
και πιαίνεις στον μονάρχη Αρταξέρξη
που ευνοϊκά σε βάζει στην αυλή του,
και σε προσφέρει σατραπείες και τέτοια.
Και συ τα δέχεσαι με απελπισία
αυτά τα πράγματα που δεν τα θέλεις.
Άλλα ζητεί η ψυχή σου, γι’ άλλα κλαίει
τον έπαινο του Δήμου και των Σοφιστών
τα δύσκολα και τ’ ανεκτίμητα Εύγε
την Αγορά, το Θέατρο, και τους Στεφάνους.
Αυτά που θα στα δώσει ο Αρταξέρξης,
αυτά που θα τα βρεις στη σατραπεία
και τί ζωή χωρίς αυτά θα κάμεις.
THE SATRAPY

How unfortunate though you are made
for great and beautiful deeds
your unjust fate always denies you
encouragement and success;
worthless habits, pettiness
and indifference distract you.
And what a horrible day when you give in
(the day you let yourself give in)
and you set out on the road to Susa
and you approach the monarch Artaxerxes
who favors you with a place at his court
and offers you satrapies and such.
And you accept them in despair
these things that you don’t want.
Your soul craves other things, yearns for other things:
the praise of the people and the sophists,
that difficult and priceless “Well Done”;
the Agora, the Theater, and the Laurels.
Will Artaxerxes give you these things?
Can your Satrapy provide them?
And what sort of life will you live without them?

~Κωνσταντίνου Καβάφη-Ποιήματα/Μετάφραση Μανώλη Αλυγιζάκη
~C. P. Cavafy-Poems/translated by Manolis Aligizakis

Φεστιβάλ Ποίησης//Poetry Festival

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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C. P. CAVAFY//Κ. Π. ΚΑΒΑΦΗΣ

cavafy copy

Η ΜΑΧΗ ΤΗΣ ΜΑΓΝΗΣΙΑΣ
Έχασε τήν παληά του ορμή, τό θάρρος του.
Τού κουρασμένου σώματός του, τού άρρωστου

σχεδόν, θάχει κυρίως τήν φροντίδα. Κι’ ο επίλοιπος
βίος του θά διέλθει αμέριμνος. Αυτά ο Φίλιππος

τουλάχιστον διατείνεται. Απόψι κύβους παίζει
έχει όρεξι νά διασκεδάσει. Στό τραπέζι

βάλτε πολλά τριαντάφυλλα. Τί άν στήν Μαγνησία
ο Αντίοχος κατεστράφηκε. Λένε πανωλεθρία

έπεσ’ επάνω στού λαμπρού στρατεύματος τά πλήθια.
Μπορεί νά τά μεγαλώσαν όλα δέν θάναι αλήθεια.

Είθε. Γιατί αγκαλά κ’ εχθρός, ήσανε μιά φυλή.
Όμως ένα «είθε» είν’ αρκετό. Ίσως κιόλας πολύ.

Ο Φίλιππος τήν εορτή βέβαια δέν θ’ αναβάλει.
Όσο κι άν στάθηκε τού βίου του η κόπωσις μεγάλη

ένα καλό διατήρησεν, η μνήμη διόλου δέν τού λείπει.
Θυμάται πόσο στήν Συρία θρήνησαν τί είδος λύπη

είχαν, σάν έγινε σκουπίδι η μάνα των Μακεδονία.—
Ν’ αρχίσει τό τραπέζι. Δούλοι τούς αυλούς, τή φωταψία.

 
THE BATTLE OF MAGNESIA
He’s lost his old ardor, his courage.
His body, nearly ill with fatigue,

will be his only concern now. And the rest
of his life will go by without any worry. This

at least is what Philip contends. Tonight he plays
at dice to amuse himself, loads the table

with roses. What if Antiochos was destroyed
at Magnesia? They say complete carnage

crushed the ranks of his brilliant army. Perhaps
those claims were stretched a bit. Perhaps they are not all true.

Let us hope. Because, although enemies, they belong to our race.
However, one “perhaps” is enough. Maybe too much.

But of course Philip will not postpone the feast.
No matter how great the weariness of his life,

one good thing remains: his memory has not left him.
He remembers how much they mourned in Syria, that charade

of sorrow, when their Mother Macedonia fell to dust.—
Let the feast begin. Servants: the flutes, the lights!

 

http://www.libroslibertad.ca

http://www.ekstasiseditions.com

 

Τάσος Λειβαδίτης//Tasos Livaditis

Tasos Livaditis_Vanilla

ΤΕΡΨΕΙΣ ΤΟΥ ΑΠΟΓΕΥΜΑΤΟΣ

 

Ή μάλλον γιά νά `μαι πιο συγκεκριμένος όλα ξεκίνησαν απ’
αυτό το ρολόι, ένα ρολόι ηλίθιο και φαλακρό, εγώ τί έφταιξα —
απλώς καθόμουν τ’ απογεύματα ήσυχος στον καναπέ κι έτρωγα
τις θείες μου σε νεαρή ηλικία, αλλά μια μια, για να μη φανεί απότομα
η γύμνια του τοίχου ή μια φορά στο δρόμο έφτυσα αίμα, τόσο η
πόλη ήταν ακαλαίσθητη
και μόνον η έλλειψη κάθε ενδιαφέροντος για τους άλλους είναι
που έδωσε στη ζωή μας αυτό το ατέλειωτο βάθος.

AFTERNOON DELIGHTS

 

Or perhaps to be more accurate it all started by
this clock a stupid bald headed clock, it wasn’t my fault —
every afternoon I simply sat quietly on the sofa and ate my
young unties, however but one by one so that the emptiness
of the wall wouldn’t show or another time in the street I spat
blood so much the city was inelegant
that only the lack of interest for others gave our lives
this endless depth.

 

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