Katerina Gogou//Κατερίνα Γώγου



With my head in smithereens
by the vise of your bargainings
at the height of the traffic jam and opposite it
I’ll light a great fire
and I’ll throw all the Marxist books in it
that Myrto will never learn
the cause of my death.
You can tell her
I couldn’t endure the spring or that I cross the road with a red light.
Yes. This is more believable:
with a red light. This you can say.

Με το κεφάλι θρύψαλα
απ’ τη μέγκενη των παζαριών σας
την ώρα της αιχμής και κόντρα στο ρεύμα
θ’ ανάψω μια μεγάλη φωτιά
κι εκεί θα ρίξω όλα τα μαρξιστικά βιβλία
έτσι που να μη μάθει ποτέ η Μυρτώ
τα αίτια του θανάτου μου.
Μπορείτε να της πείτε
πως δεν άντεξα την άνοιξη ή πως πέρασα με κόκκινο.
Ναι. Αυτό είναι πιο πιστευτό.
Με κόκκινο. Αυτό να πείτε.
~Κατερίνας Γώγου/Katerina Gogou, Τα τελευταία Ποιήματα
~Μετάφραση Μανώλη Αλυγιζάκη/Translated by Manolis Aligizakis



Katerina Gogou (Greek: Κατερίνα Γώγου; 1 June 1940 – 3 October 1993) was a Greek poet, author and actress. Before her suicide by pill overdose at the age of 53, Gogou appeared in over thirty Greek films. She was born in Athens, Greece.
One of her books was translated into English, “Three clicks left” in the United States in 1983 by Jack Hirschman and published by “Night Horn Books” in San Francisco. The Greek title was, ‘Τρία κλικ αριστερά’, and first published by Kastaniotis in 1978. Her poetry was known for its rebellious and communist content.
As an actress she was known for lesser roles of rebellious free spirited women. She won the first women’s award at the Salonica film festival.
As a poet she is known for her antiestablishment poems and her anarchist ideals. Her verse is filled by indignation and refute however her ideals, her wounded psychological state lead her to suicide at the age of 53.
Numerous poems written by Gogou appeared in the Greek film ‘Parangelia’ about the life of Nikos Koemtzis who, in 1973, killed three individuals (two of whom were policemen) and injured another eight at a bouzouki club in Athens over a dance.


George Seferis_cover


Τώρα,με το λιωμένο μολύβι του κλήδονα
το λαμπύρισμα του καλοκαιρινού πελάγου,
η γύμνια ολόκλρης της ζωής
και το πέρασμα και το σταμάτημα και το πλάγιασμα
και το τίναγμα
τα χείλια το χαϊδεμένο δέρας,
όλα γυρευουν να καούν.

Όπως το πεύκο καταμεσήμερα
κυριεμένο απ’ το ρετσίνι
βιάζεται να γεννήσει φλόγα
και δε βαστά πια την παιδωμή —

φώναξε τα παιδιά να μαζέψουν τη στάχτη
και να τη σπείρουν.
Ό,τι πέρασε πέρασε σωστά.

Κι εκείνα ακόμη που δεν πέρασαν
πρέπει να καούν
τούτο το μεσημέρι που καρφώθηκε ο ήλιος
στην καρδιά του εκατόφυλλου ρόδου.


with the melted led of St John’s festivity
with the brilliance of summer pelagos,
all the nakedness of life,
and the going beyond and the staying put
the leaning down
and the upsurge
the lips, the caressed skin
they all long to be burned.

Like the pine at high noon
overcome by resin
in haste to produce flame
and can’t endure the struggle anymore —

call the children to gather the ash
and spread it.
What has passed has passed as it was fit.

And even what hasn’t passed yet
must burn
this high noon when the sun is nailed
in the heart of the one hundred-petalled rose.

Μετάφραση Μανώλη Αλυγιζάκη
Translation by Manolis Aligizakis