Greek Avant Garde Poetry


Mihalis Katsaros


Poets are imprisoned in their cave

and are not coming out

they fear

they do not surrender—

with  whom with whom to talk?

Papaditsas holds the secret firmly

he plays
like a bird he goes out of the window 

getting wet and re-enters —

with whom to talk?

Sachtouris picks up his words with a flashlight 

and piles up the events in trees

then he pounds his chord

amazed as a little child —

with whom to talk?

Anagnostakis got lost in North

without  a new lament

as if he had really died now

without lamenting neither Haris nor the Sun.

With whom to talk?

Sinopoulos is wandering dark

dead he dines with the dead

he runs underground alone carrying lamps 

matches and torches.

With whom with whom to talk.

I don't  remember anyone else anymore

in my ears I hear the shoutings

of Christodoulou

wandering in strange corridors carrying a lantern

screaming like a wounded dog.

Jason Depounti are you mourning—  alone?

Nikos Fokas are you still looking into your "madhouses"?

My dear George Gavala where are you?

Ah Sarantis did you give the blood?

Nikos  Vranas don't look at me

with such a cold eye

I am here near you — alone.

Who whom with whom to talk?

And you poets all of you lonely

what happened to you? What wind drove you out taking you?

Now I invite you all here —

do you remember, really remember
the cafes the sidewalks the revolvers

the rooms with golden birds

do you remember

that evening when we were talking

do you remember?

The poet Likos was unknown
And still is.

(Transl. Panos Bosnakis)