TASOS LIVADITIS- SELECTED POEMS/ΤΑΣΟΣ ΛΕΙΒΑΔΙΤΗΣ, ΕΚΛΕΓΜΕΝΑ ΠΟΙΗΜΑΤΑ

Tasos Livaditis_Vanilla
ΕΚ ΠΡΩΤΗΣ όψεως, βέβαια, όλοι φαίνονται απροσδόκητα
ενώ αυτό που φοβόμαστε έχει γίνει από καιρό, κι ήτανε μέσα μας,
κι εμείς το πηγαίναμε στην επικίνδυνη ώρα και συχνά σταματού-
σες στη μέση της σκάλας, γιατί ποιός ξέρει πού είναι το άλλο
σκαλοπάτι, ιδιαίτερα το βράδυ καθώς διάβαινες τις άδειες κάμα-
ρες, σου `πεφτε πάντα κάτι απ’ τα χέρια, σαν να `θελε να ξαναγυ-
ρίσει, και τότε, όπως γονάτιζες να το βρεις, συναντούσες τον
άλλον
αφού κάθε κίνηση μας προδίνει, κι ένα άλλο ποτήρι σηκώνεις
απ’ αυτό που πήγαινες, προτίμησα, λοιπόν, να σωπάσω, μα όταν
μες στο σκοτάδι χτύπησαν μεσάνυχτα, όλο το σπίτι ράγισε άξαφνα,
και τότε, στο βάθος του διαδρόμου, το είδαμε που πέρασε εντελώς
καθαρά.
AT FIRST glance of course everything seem to be unexpected
while what we’ve feared had already taken place and was inside us
and we carried it to the dangerous hour and often you would stop
in the middle of the stairs because, who knows where was the next
step; especially in the night as you walked through the empty rooms
something always fell off your hands as if wanting to return and
then as you’d kneel to find it you would meet the other man
since every gesture gives us up and you carry a different
glass from the one you wanted, I therefore chose to keep silent;
but when in darkness midnight struck suddenly the whole
house shook and then at the end of the hallway we saw him
as he quite clearly walked by 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
http://www.amazon.com
http://www.amazon.kindle.com
http://www.smashwords.com

FOREWORD

The people’s poet in more than one way, Tasos Livaditis stands apart from other poets of his era because of his deep understanding, his heart rendering existential agony, initially expressed as a tender cry filled with compassion within the boundaries of his optimistic realism and on the second phase of his creative career as an introverted search for the meaning of life in the past after the dissolution of his expectations as an artist-fighter for a better future.
The calendar will show October
with the wilted leaves and revolutions

It was October when he said to us farewell. We kept his most recent verses that underscored that message yet not only.

Here I‘ve come to the end. Time to go. As you will also go.
and the ghosts of my life will search for me
running in the night and leaves will shiver and fall.
Autumn comes this way. For this, I say to you,
let us look at life with more compassion, since it was never real.

He never imagined that the ghosts of his life would multiply in such a fast pace soon after his death. The adventure of his vision turned out to become a hardship, the rapid fashion of change in social behaviour and charting even unforeseen by the most suspicious of men truly shifted dramatically in the short nineteen years after his death. Within just one or two years after his death the so called socialistic dream collapsed in an unforgiving way that turned the obviously existent into a fable.

However Livaditis knew deep inside that only the Just Time eventually justifies one. Today the Just Time says about Livaditis that he was one very important poet. He was not at all insignificant although not recognized enough. Because as times passes and values change or shift position the Just Time sets laws and flawless details in the Stock Market of Values.

Tasos Livaditis is one of the last poets who dreamed of a different Greece and gave all he had to turn that dream into reality. He was one of the last who believed in the collective versus the personal even if that collective meant dramatic adventures, not only his exile and persecution but also the adventure of his internal revolution. The person who dreamed of a better world was embittered when he realized the utopia of his vision. Yet he never lost faith in man and although the serious severing that took place in his life scared him he always stood gracefully opposite the descending sun and in that glamour of red dusk he wept alone but with optimism for the future.
Unfortunately his life was cut short and at the age of 66 when he departed leaving a nation to mourn the people’s poet and to reflect and shift their focus toward his vision because the world of the poet is the world of humiliation and exhaustion. It’s the world of bitterness and futility and Tasos Livaditis suffered a lot, was persecuted a lot and pendulated a lot in his life. How else could he write such great poems?

There is a similarity in the life of this man and the life of Yannis Ristsos whom Tasos Livaditis refer to as the teacher. Both men were leftists along with Avgeris, Varnalis, Anagnostakis and others, they were both exiled for their political views, they both left behind a vast bibliography, they both had one daughter and they both went through a poetic shift, a change of focus from writing poetry to serve the cause of the left to writing poetry having in its center the progress, improvement and refinement of the external and internal pleats of man.

In the Introduction of this edition I have added one poem written by Yannis Ritsos and excerpts from reviews written in Greek by friends and close associates of the poet on the twentieth anniversary of Tasos Livaditis’ death. I have translated these excerpts and place them in the order I thought most appropriate. I chose to introduce this great poet to the English speaking world not only with the regular introduction format but also with these comments published by Kedros in 2008, this poet’s exclusive publisher.

The sources of these reviews are referred to in the bibliography of this book.

My heartfelt thank you is extended to Mr. Stelios Petros Halas for granting me his permission to do this translation.

~Manolis Aligizakis

Τάσος Λειβαδίτης-Βουβά Πρόσωπα/Tasos Livaditis-Silent faces

ΒΟΥΒΑ ΠΡΟΣΩΠΑ

     “Μή φεύγεις” τού λέω, μά εκείνος είχε κιόλας ξεκινήσει μέ τούς

άλλους καταδίκους, μού άφησε μόνο τό χέρι του, πού συχνά μέ

κράτησε στήν άκρη τής γέφυρας, ένα άρρωστο άλογο σάπιζε στήν

άκρη τού δρόμου, καί τίς νύχτες άκουγα τούς ανεμοδείχτες πού τό

βοηθούσαν ν’ αλλάξει πλευρό,

      θυμήθηκα τό πρώτο βράδυ πού θάψαμε τόν πατέρα — πώς τόν

μισούσα γι αυτόν τό βρόμικο ρόλο τού υπηρέτη πού έπαιξε, ανοί-

γοντας τήν πόρτα μας στό μεγάλο σκοτάδι,

      ερημιά, καί μόνο οι ραγισμένοι τοίχοι άφηναν νά φαίνονται τά

φοβερά, βουβά πρόσωπα, πού περνάμε κάποτε πλάι τους.

     Εκεί έζησα τόσο μονάχος, πού άκουσα τίς άλλες φωνές, κι όταν

νύχτωνε, οι νεκροί μού κλέβαν τήν κουβέρτα καί πλάγιαζαν έξω

απ’ τήν πόρτα, ώσπου ξημέρωνε καί σταυρωνόταν πάνω μου τό

λάλημα τού πετεινού.

SILENT FACES

    “Don’t go”, I say to him, but he had already started along with

the other convicts, he just 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

faces, the 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

on top of my body.

Ο ΜΟΥΣΙΚΟΣ   

      Συχνά τή νύχτα, χωρίς νά τό καταλάβω, έφτανα σέ μιά άλλη

πόλη, δέν υπήρχε παρά μόνο ένας γέρος, πού ονειρευόταν κάποτε νά

γίνει μουσικός, καί τώρα καθόταν μισόγυμνος μές στή βροχή — μέ

τό σακάκι του είχε σκεπάσει πάνω στά γόνατά του ένα παλιό,

φανταστικό βιολί, “τό ακούς;” μού λέει, “ναί, τού λέω, πάντα τό

άκουγα”,

     ενώ στό βάθος τού δρόμου τό άγαλμα διηγόταν στά πουλιά τό

αληθινό ταξίδι.

THE MUSICIAN

      Often during the night, without noticing it, I’d arrive to another city,

where there would be no other but an old man who dreamed that someday

he’d become a musician, and now half naked he sat in the rain—with

his coat he had covered on top of his knees an old, imaginary violin,

“do you hear it?” he says to me, “yes, I say to him, “I have

always heard it”,

     while at the far end of the road the statue narrated the true voyage

tothebirds.

Τάσος Λειβαδίτης/Νυχτερινός Επισκέπτης-Μετάφραση Μανώλη Αλυγιζάκη

Tasos Livaditis/Night Visitor-Translation by Manolis Aligizakis

www.libroslibertad.ca