ΜΙΑ ΚΟΙΝΗ ΚΑΜΑΡΗ
Ανέβαινα απ’ ώρα τη σκάλα, μου άνοιξε μια γριά με μια μαύρη
σκούφια, “εδώ έχουν πεθάνει πολλοί” μου λέει “γι αυτό ό,τι κι αν
πεις δεν ακούγεται”, τότε είδα κάποιον που σερνόταν κάτω απ’ τον
καναπέ, “τί ψάχνει;” ρώτησα, “ο Χριστός” μου λέει “θα `ρθει κι
άλλες φορές”, η γυναίκα έριχνε τα χαρτιά, τρόμαξα καθώς είδα το
χέρι της ν’ ανεβαίνει, “θα χάσεις πολλές φορές το δρόμο” μου λέει,
“μα πώς θα τον χάσω” της λέω “εγώ είμαι ανήπηρος και δεν περ-
πατάω, άλλος σέρνει το καροτσάκι”, “κι όμως θα τον χάσεις” μου
λέει, “είσαι μια πουτάνα” της λέω “να με ταράζεις άγιον άνθρωπο
—κι εσύ, αφού κανένας δε σε θέλει, γιατί κουνιέσαι;”, “δεν κουνιέ-
μαι εγώ” μου λέει “το καντήλι τρέμει”, την λυπήθηκα, “σε ξέρω”
τής λέω “δέν αποκλείεται, μάλιστα, να `χουμε ζήσει πολύν καιρό
μαζί”, η ώρα ήταν επτά ακριβώς, κοίταξα το ρολόι μου κι έδειχνε
κι εκείνο το ίδιο, “τώρα αρχίζει” σκέφτηκα με απόγνωση, κι η
γριά με συρτά βήματα πήγε και μαντάλωσε την πόρτα.
AT THE BROTHEL
I was going up the stairs for a while when an old woman with a black
hood opened the door “everyone has died here” she says to me
“whatever you say nobody listens”; then I saw someone crawling
under the sofa “what is he looking for?” I asked “Christ” she says to me
“will come a few more times”; the woman started to read the cards
I was scared when I saw her hand pointing at me “you will lose
your way many a time” she says to me “how can I lose it” I say
“I’m crippled, I don’t walk, someone else pulls the cart”, “you will still
lose it”, “you are a whore” I say to her “and you disturb me, a holy man
—and you, if no one wants you why do you tease me?”, “I don’t tease
you, it’s the candle that flickers”; I felt sorry for her. “I know you”
I say to her “in fact it’s possible that we lived together long time ago”
the time was exactly seven o’clock; I looked at my watch and it showed
the same time “now she’ll start again” I thought in despair and
the old woman with slow steps went and locked the door.
TASOS LIVADITIS BIOGRAPHY
Tasos Livaditis (Anastasios Panteleimon Livaditis) was born in Athens April 20, 1922, son of Lissandros Livaditis and Vasiliki Kontoloulou. He was enrolled in the Law School of the University of Athens. German occupation interrupted his studies and his involvement with the Resistance and the political party EPON. His father, bankrupt by this time died during the occupation years and while the poet was exiled in Makronisos his mother also died. In 1946 he got married to Maria Stoupa, the valuable companion of his life and they had a daughter, Vassiliki. That same year he made his first literary appearance with the publication of his poem The Hatzidimitri Song in Elefthera Grammata. In 1947 he coordinated the release of the literary magazine Themelio. The years 1948-1952 he was exiled in Moudros, Saint Stratis, Makronisos along with all leftist artists and thinkers, Yannis Ritsos, Aris Alexandrou, Manos Katrakis, and many others. In 1952 his poetry books Battle at the Edge of the Night and This Star is for all of us were noticed. Three years later he was taken by the police because of his book It Blows in the Crossroads of the World but he was acquitted. His book Women with Equine Eyes, 1958, was a landmark in his literary career and his turn into the introverted and existential poetry of his middle life. In 1961 he went on a country tour along with Mikis Theodorakis who presented his poems set in music and Tasos Livaditis interacted with the audience reciting his poems and talking to them. The same year he collaborated with Kosta Kotzias in the writing of the script and the poems for the Alekos Alexandrakis film Neighbourhood of Dreams which was the turning point of Greek cinema but which was censored by the police. Livaditis co-operated with the newspaper Avgi from 1954-1980 with the exception of seven years during the dictatorship of the four colonels and with the magazine Art Review1962-1966 where he published a few political reviews and critiques. During the dictatorship 1967-1974 he translated various Greek literary works for commercial magazines in order to earn his living while he reminiscent the old days of the struggle and he reflected at the harshness of modern day life something he couldn’t accept a stand that reflected in his poetry of those days and in particular in his book Night Visitor. In 1986 he published his book Violets for a Season which is considered his swan song. He died in Athens, October 30th 1988 of an abdominal aneurism. The rest of his hand written poems were published after his death in a book titled Autumn Handwritings.
He was the recipient of the First Poetry Prize in the World Youth Poetry Festival of Warsaw 1953, the First Poetry Prize of the City of Athens, 1957; the second National Literary Prize for poetry 1976; the First National Literary prize for poetry 1979.
Livaditis was a founding member of the Company of Writers.
His verses were set in music by Mikis Theodorakis, Manos Loizos, George Tsagaris and other Greek music composers.
~Τάσου Λειβαδίτη-Εκλεγμένα Ποιήματα/Μετάφραση Μανώλη Αλυγιζάκη
~Tasos Livaditis-Selected Poems/Translated by Manolis Aligizakis