TASOS LIVADITIS-SELECTED POEMS

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SILENT FACES

“Don’t go”, I say to him, but he had already started along with
the other convicts; he only left behind his hand that often held me
by the edge of the bridge; a sick horse was rotting away on the side
of the road and at night I would hear the weathervane helping it to
turn to the other side
I remembered the first night when we buried father — oh, how
I hated him for the role of the servant he played, opening our door
to the great darkness
forlornness and only the cracked walls made visible the horrible
silent faces we often pass by.
There I lived so lonely that I heard the other voices and when
night came the dead stole my blanket and lied outside the door
until the new day broke and the rooster’s call was crucified
over my body.

ΒΟΥΒΑ ΠΡΟΣΩΠΑ

“Μή φεύγεις” του λέω, μα εκείνος είχε κιόλας ξεκινήσει με τους
άλλους καταδίκους, μου άφησε μόνο το χέρι του, που συχνά με
κράτησε στην άκρη της γέφυρας, ένα άρρωστο άλογο σάπιζε στην
άκρη του δρόμου, και τις νύχτες άκουγα τους ανεμοδείχτες που το
βοηθούσαν ν’ αλλάξει πλευρό,
θυμήθηκα το πρώτο βράδυ που θάψαμε τον πατέρα — πως τον
μισούσα γι’ αυτόν το βρόμικο ρόλο του υπηρέτη που έπαιξε, ανοί-
γοντας την πόρτα μας στο μεγάλο σκοτάδι,
ερημιά, και μόνο οι ραγισμένοι τοίχοι άφηναν να φαίνονται τα
φοβερά, βουβά πρόσωπα, που περνάμε κάποτε πλάι τους.
Εκεί έζησα τόσο μονάχος, που άκουσα τις άλλες φωνές, κι όταν
νύχτωνε, οι νεκροί μου κλέβαν την κουβέρτα και πλάγιαζαν έξω
απ’ την πόρτα, ώσπου ξημέρωνε και σταυρωνόταν πάνω μου το
λάλημα του πετεινού.

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

TASOS LIVADITIS-POEMS/ΤΑΣΟΥ ΛΕΙΒΑΔΙΤΗ-ΠΟΙΗΜΑΤΑ

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ΤΑ ΚΑΡΦΙΑ

Σκέφτομαι, κάποτε, σε μια ιδιαίτερη ώρα, να διηγηθώ όλες τις
λεπτομέρειες, πώς, λόγου χάρη, άρχισε αυτή η αθεράπευτη αρρώ-
στια στον απέναντι τοίχο ή για εκείνη τη γυναίκα στο πάρκο, που
ήταν ολόκληρη καρφωμένη πάνω στό παγκάκι, και λέω καρφωμένη
χωρίς ίχνος υπερβολής, τα καρφιά εξείχαν σαν μικρά κουμπιά πάνω
απ’ τα ρούχα της, ενώ η τσάντα με την ταυτότητά της κυλούσε
μες στο ρυάκι, για να μην ξέρουμε τίποτα γι αυτήν, κι όπως ανέ-
βηκα στη σοφίτα που μου `χαν παραχωρήσει για τη νύχτα, είδα
πως είχαν μετακομίσει, και δεν έμενε παρά λίγο άχυρο, επειδή
είχαν πάντα το φόβο του ξεπεσμού, κι ήταν στιγμές που όλοι περί-
μεναν το αναπόφευκτο, κι όταν νύχτωνε ήρεμα, ησύχαζαν, γιατί
εκείνοι δεν πηγαινοέρχονταν στο διάδρομο, να δούν ακριβώς πίσω
απ’ την πόρτα του βάθους.
Γι’ αυτό κι εγώ κρατιέμαι παράμερα, με την ελπίδα να ξαναβρώ
εκείνη τη χαμένη ψυχή.

THE NAILS

Sometimes, on a special hour, I think of narrating all the details:
how for example this incurable disease started on the opposite wall
or about that woman in the park whose body was nailed on the bench
and I say this without exaggeration; the nails protruded from her cloths
like small buttons while her purse with her identity card floated down
the creek that we couldn’t find out anything about her and as I
went up to the loft they allotted to me for the night I discovered they
had moved and only hay was left behind because they always had
the fear of comedown and there were moments when everyone
anticipated the inescapable and when the night fell serenely they
quietened down because the others weren’t going back and forth
in the hallway to look behind the far end door.
For this I’ve stayed on the sidelines hoping to rediscover that
lost soul.

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

Tasos Livaditis-Selected Poems/Τάσου Λειβαδίτη-Εκλεγμένα Ποιήματα

Tasos Livaditis_Vanilla
~Love…transcendence of space and time
~Αγάπη…πέραν χρόνου και τόπου

My beloved
I love you more than I can say in words.
Yes, my beloved. Long before I met you
I had waited for you. I had always waited for you.

When I was a child and my mother would see me sad
she would lean down and ask. What is it my boy?
I wouldn’t talk. I would only look behind her shoulder
at a world without you.
And as I played the pencil with my fingers
it was as if I learned to write songs for you.

Αγαπημένη μου
σ’ αγαπώ πιο πολύ απ’ ό,τι μπορώ να σου πω με λόγια.
Ναι, αγαπημένη μου. Πολύ πριν να σε συναντήσω
εγώ σε περίμενα. Πάντοτε σε περίμενα.
Σάν είμουνα παιδί και μ’ έβλεπε λυπημένο η μητέρα μου
έσκυβε και με ρωτούσε. Τι έχεις αγόρι;
Δε μίλαγα. Μονάχα κοίταζα πίσω απ’ τον ώμο της
έναν κόσμο άδειο από σένα.
Και καθώς πηγαινόφερνα το παιδικό κοντύλι
ήτανε για να μάθω να σου γράφω τραγούδια.

~Τάσου Λειβαδίτη-Εκλεγμένα Ποιήματα/Μετάφραση Μανώλη Αλυγιζάκη
~Tasos Livaditis-Selected Poems/Translated by Manolis Aligizakis

NEWSPAPER-PATRIS/ΕΦΗΜΕΡΙΔΑ ΠΑΤΡΙΣ

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Η έγκριτη εφημερίδα του Ηρακλείου Κρήτης, ΠΑΤΡΙΣ, παρουσίασε τον ΕΡΩΤΟΚΡΙΤΟ μου σε δισέλιδο άρθρο του Σαββάτου, 31-01-2015.
The well known newspaper of Hrakleion-Crete, PATRIS run a two page article on my EROTOKRITOS in their Saturday 31-01-2015 edition. Enjoy!

http://www.patris.gr/articles/275919/179570#.VM-MXcZ1E_Q
“Η Κρήτη θα πάλλει πάντα μέσα μου όσα χρόνια ζήσω”: “Η Κρήτη θα πάλλει πάντα μέσα μου όσα χρόνια…
patris.gr

YANNIS RITSOS-SELECTED POEMS/TRANSLATED BY MANOLIS ALIGIZAKIS

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Yannis Ritsos – Poems

A careful hand is needed to translate the poems of Yannis Ritsos, and Manolis is the ideal poet to undertake such an enormous task. Born in Crete, Manolis’s youth was intermingled with the poetry of Ritsos. Once a young man moved by the Theodorakis version of Epitaphios, he’s now a successful poet in his own right who is still moved to tears hearing the refrains of those notes from half a century ago. His Greek heritage, with its knowledge of the terrain, people, history and cultural themes, makes his translation all the more true to what Ritsos intended. Having visited the very places of which Ritsos wrote, he knows how the light and sea shift, and how Ritsos imagined those changes as being a temperament and personality of the Greece itself. The parallels in their lives are uncanny: when Ritsos was imprisoned, Manolis’ father also was imprisoned on false charges. Both men dealt with the forces of dictators and censorship, and experienced the cruel and unreasoning forces of those times. In fact, they even lived for a time in the same neighborhood. In his foreword to Poems, Manolis relates that he viewed him as a comrade, one whose “work resonated with our intense passion for our motherland and also in our veracity and strong-willed quest to find justice for all Greeks.” In Poems, Manolis chose to honor Ritsos first by not just picking and choosing a few titles to translate, although that might have been far easier. Instead, he undertook the complex task of translating fifteen entire books of Ritsos work-an endeavor that took years of meticulous research and patience. It should be noted that along with the translation, edited by Apryl Leaf, that he also includes a significant Introduction that gives a reader unfamiliar with Ritsos an excellent background on the poet from his own perspective. Dated according to when Ritsos composed them, it’s fascinating to see how some days were especially productive for him. These small details are helpful in understanding the context and meaning. For example, in Notes on the Margins of Time, written from 1938-1941, Ritsos explores the forces of war that are trickling into even the smallest villages. Without direct commentary, he alludes to trains, blood, and the sea that takes soldiers away, seldom to return. Playing an active role in these violent times, the moon observes all, and even appears as a thief ready to steal life from whom it is still new. From “In the Barracks”:

The moon entered the barracks It rummaged in the soldiers’ blankets Touched an undressed arm Sleep Someone talks in his sleep Someone snores A shadow gesture on the long wall The last trolley bus went by Quietness

Can all these be dead tomorrow? Can they be dead from right now?

A soldier wakes up He looks around with glassy eyes A thread of blood hangs from the moon’s lips

In Romiosini, the postwar years are a focus (1945-1947), and they have not been kind. The seven parts to this piece each reflect a soldier’s journey home.

These trees don’t take comfort in less sky These rocks don’t take comfort under foreigners’ Footsteps These faces don’t’ take comfort but only In the sun These hearts don’t take comfort except in justice.

The return to his country is marked by bullet-ridden walls, burnt-out homes, decay, and the predominantly female populace, one that still hears the bombs falling and the screams of the dead as they dully gaze about, looking for fathers, husbands, and sons. The traveler’s journey is marked by introspection and grim memories reflected on to the surfaces of places and things he thought he knew.

And now is the time when the moon kisses him sorrowfully Close to his ear The seaweed the flowerpot the stool and the stone ladder Say good evening to him And the mountains the seas and cities and the sky Say good evening to him And then finally shaking the ash off his cigarette Over the iron railing He may cry because of his assurance He may cry because of the assurance of the trees and The stars and his brothers

An entirely different feeling is found in Parentheses, composed 1946-1947. In it, healing is observed and a generosity of spirit exerts itself among those whose hearts had been previously crushed. In “Understanding”:

A woman said good morning to someone – so simple and natural Good morning… Neither division nor subtraction To be able to look outside Yourself-warmth and serenity Not to be ‘just yourself’ but ‘you too’ A small addition A small act of practical arithmetic easily understood…

On the surface, it may appear simple, a return to familiarity that may have been difficulty in times of war. Yet on another level, he appears to be referring to the unity among the Greek people-the ‘practical arithmetic’ that kept them united though their political state was volatile. Essentially timeless, his counsel goes far beyond nationalism.

Moonlight Sonata, written in 1956, is an impossibly romantic and poignant lyric poem that feels more like a short story. In it, a middle-aged woman talks to a young man in her rustic home. As he prepares to leave, she asks to walk with him a bit in the moonlight. “The moon is good –it doesn’t show my gray hair. The moon will turn my hair gold again. You won’t see the difference. Let me come with you”

Her refrain is repeated over and over as they walk, with him silent and her practically begging him to take her away from the house and its memories:

I know that everyone marches to love alone Alone to glory and to death I know it I tried it It’s of no use Let me come with you

The poem reveals her memories as well as his awkward silence, yet at the end of their journey, she doesn’t leave. Ritsos leaves the ending open: was it a dream? If not, why did she not go? What hold did the house have over her? Was it just the moonlight or a song on the radio that emboldened her?

In 1971, Ritsos wrote The Caretaker’s Desk in Athens, where he was under surveillance but essentially free. At this time he seems to be translating himself-that of how he was processing his own personal history. Already acclaimed for his work, perhaps he was uncertain of his own identity.

From “The Unknown”,

He knew what his successive disguises stood for (even with them often out of time and always vague) A fencer a herald a priest a rope-walker A hero a victim a dead Iphigenia He didn’t know The one he disguised himself as His colorful costumes Pile on the floor covering the hole of the floor And on top of the pile the carved golden mask And in the cavity of the mask the unfired pistol

If he is indeed discussing his identity, it’s with incredible honesty as to both his public persona and his private character. After all, he’d been nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1968 (and eight more times) and he was likely weighing, in his later years, all that he’d endured.

The beauty of this particular translation is that, while subjects and emotions change over time, they still feel united by the underlying character of Ritsos. Some translators leave their own imprint or influence, yet this feels free of such adjustment. It’s as if Ritsos’ voice itself has been translated, with the pauses, humor, and pace that identify the subtle characteristics of an individual.

~Wikipedia

GEORGE SEFERIS-COLLECTED POEMS/TRANSLATED BY MANOLIS ALIGIZAKIS

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ΜΥΘΙΣΤΟΡΗΜΑ

Γ’

Μέμνησο λουτρών οίς ενοσφίσθης

Ξύπνησα με το μαρμάρινο τούτο κεφάλι στα χέρια
που μου εξαντλεί τους αγκώνες και δεν ξέρω πού να
τ΄ακουμπήσω.
Έπεφτε στο όνειρο καθώς έβγαινα από το όνειρο
Έτσι ενώθηκε η ζωή μας και θα είναι πολύ δύσκολο να
ξαναχωρίσει.

Κοιτάζω τα μάτια, μήτε ανοιχτά μήτε κλειστά
μιλώ με το στόμα που όλο γυρεύει να μιλήσει
κρατώ τα μάγουλα που ξεπέρασαν το δέρμα.
Δεν έχω άλλη δύναμη,

τα χέρια μου χάνουνται και με πλησιάζουν
ακρωτηριασμένα.

MYTHISTOREMA

C’

Remember the baths where you were murdered

I woke up with this marble head in my hands
that exhausts my elbows and I don’t know where
to lean it.
It was falling in the dream as I was coming out of the dream
thus our lives joined and it will be very difficult for us to
separate again.

I gaze in the eyes; neither open nor closed
I speak to the mouth that keeps trying to speak
I touch the cheeks that have gone through the skin.
I don’t have any other strength;

my hands disappear and come back near me
mutilated.

~George Seferis-Collected Poems/translated by Manolis Aligizakis
~Γιώργου Σεφέρη-Άπαντα/Μετάφραση Μανώλη Αλυγιζάκη

Erotokritos, longhand copy by Manolis Aligizakis-Ερωτόκριτος, χειρόγραφο Μανώλη Αλυγιζάκη

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Το μοναδικό χειρόγραφο βιβλίο αυτού του είδους στον κόσμο. Αποτελείται από 10012 ομοιοκατάληκτους δεκαπεντασύλλαβους που αντέγραψα το 1958 σε ηλικία 11 χρονών.

Σαν μοναδικό είδος τέχνης το σπάνιο αυτό βιβλίο στην αρχική του χειρόγραφη μορφή είναι διαθέσιμο μόνον από τον εκδότη Libros Libertad για τους λάτρεις των καλών τεχνών και τους εκλεκτικούς συλλέκτες σπανίων βιβλίων. Έκδοση που αποτελείται από μόνον εκατό αριθμημένα αντίτυπα, με αφιέρωση στον εκάστοτε αγοραστή και υπογεγραμμένα από το Μανώλη Αλυγιζάκη και με ασφαλισμένο τρόπο αποστολής σ’ οποιοδήποτε σημείο της υφηλίου.

Tο κάθε αντίτυπο έχει αξιολογηθεί στα 5,000 δολλάρια Καναδά.
Ακολουθεί δείγμα της γραφής μου του 1958.

The only longhand book of its kind in the entire world. Consists of 10012 fifteen syllable rhyming verses I hand copied in 1958 at the age of 11.

As a rare piece of art this book in its original longhand version and with a detailed informative piece for the English speaking art lover, is available only from the publisher Libros Libertad for the eclectic collectors of rare books and fine art. An edition of only 100 numbered copies, with a dedication to each purchaser, signed by Manolis Aligizakis and guaranteed shipment to every corner of the Globe.

Book is available at 5,000 Canadian dollars per copy.
Sample of my transcription follows.
http://www.libroslibertad.ca
http://www.authormanolis.wordpress.com
info@libroslibertad.ca
http://www.longhandbooks.com

EROTOKRITOS-ΕΡΩΤΟΚΡΙΤΟΣ

erot_front
The only longhand book of its kind in the entire world. Consists of 10012 fifteen syllable rhyming verses I hand copied in 1958 at the age of 11.

As a rare piece of art this book in its original longhand version and with a detailed informative piece for the English speaking art lover, is available only from the publisher Libros Libertad for the eclectic collectors of rare books and fine art. An edition of only 100 numbered copies, with a dedication to each purchaser, signed by Manolis Aligizakis and guaranteed shipment to every corner of the Globe.

Book is available at 5,000 Canadian dollars per copy.

Το μοναδικό χειρόγραφο βιβλίο αυτού του είδους στον κόσμο. Αποτελείται από 10012 ομοιοκατάληκτους δεκαπεντασύλλαβους που αντέγραψα το 1958 σε ηλικία 11 χρονών.

Σαν μοναδικό είδος τέχνης το σπάνιο αυτό βιβλίο στην αρχική του χειρόγραφη μορφή είναι διαθέσιμο μόνον από τον εκδότη Libros Libertad για τους λάτρεις των καλών τεχνών και τους εκλεκτικούς συλλέκτες σπανίων βιβλίων. Έκδοση που αποτελείται από μόνον εκατό αριθμημένα αντίτυπα, με αφιέρωση στον εκάστοτε αγοραστή και υπογραφημένα από το Μανώλη Αλυγιζάκη και με ασφαλισμένο τρόπο αποστολής σ’ οποιοδήποτε σημείο της υφηλίου.

Tο κάθε αντίτυπο έχει αξιολογηθεί στα 5,000 δολλάρια Καναδά.

http://www.libroslibertad.ca
http://www.authormanolis.wordpress.com
info@libroslibertad.ca
http://www.longhandbooks.com

EROTOKRITOS/ΕΡΩΤΟΚΡΙΤΟΣ

EROTOKRITOS_English_Jan2.indd

The only longhand book of its kind in the entire world. Consists of 10012 fifteen syllable rhyming verses I hand copied in 1958 at the age of 11.
Available by the publisher Libros Libertad for the eclectic collectors of rare books.

Το μοναδικό χειρόγραφο βιβλίο αυτού του είδους στον κόσμο. Αποτελείται από 10012 ομοικατάληκτους δεκαπεντασύλλαβους που αντέγραψα το 1958 σε ηλικία 11 χρονών.
Διαθέσιμο από τον εκδότη Libros Libertad για τους εκλεκτικούς συλλέκτες σπανίων βιβλίων.

http://www.libroslibertad.ca