I’ll leave you now so you can read

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Loula S. Rodopoulos

i.m. M.D.R. 1908 – 1986

Perched on hearth’s edge we sip mountain tea in silent companionship
as flames sculpt the olive tree stump   slowly reduced to charcoal
like her black dress & scarf tied over her grey hair & pallid face
mother in law   Maria lived through poverty   hunger   wars   miscarriages
birthed six live infants   laboured on the land   harvesting   grapes   olives   corn
gathering wild vegetables   cooking   baking   spinning   weaving   cleaning
Eau de Cologne a luxury   Should widows wear perfume?  she’d asked after I bathed her
minimal primary education   reliance on the spoken word   unlike my pen that rekindles
village experiences – the procession of goats that paused & stared at the stranger reading
in the square   disheveled farmers who asked Why do you write?

a contrast with Australian female friends & colleagues who asked Why don’t you write?
they’d read accounts of marriage in a Greek village   written by Beverley Farmer &
Gillian Bouras   both foreign wives    who hid their books & pens from their respective mothers in law
Beverly writes that when Sofia entered the room she slid the book she was reading under her notebook

Gillian records that Aphrodite scolded her for reading & writing
flames extinguished   we stare into the glowing coals   until Maria announces
I’ll leave you now so you can read    a life of reading & writing fired & sculpted by her understanding

Loula S. Rodopoulos
17/04/2012

Rodopoulos Loula S.

About Rodopoulos Loula S.

Formerly an adjunct professor with the School of Global Science, Social and Planning at RMIT University, Loula S. Rodopoulos was born in Australia, a descendant of Greek immigrants from Ithaca. Her grandfather, Spearos Raftopulos, migrated in 1895 and was one of the founders of the Greek Community in Melbourne.

Loula holds Bachelor of Arts and Master of Social Work degrees and has served various Commonwealth and State committees, boards and tribunals in the field of multiculturalism and administrative review. An extension of her professional writing, she commenced writing poetry and short stories in the Peloponnesian mountain village of Myrovrisi, Greece, her husband’s birthplace.

Her poems have been published/accepted in various formats and include the Australian Women’s Book Review, Poetrix, Positive Words, Famous Reporter, Poetica Christi Press, Poetry Matters, and the e-journal Transnational Literature. In 2004 she was the first prizewinner in the Antipodes poetry competition. In 2009 her short story, Perparim, was Equal Third place winner in The Community Press Magazine, Phoenix Park Neighbourhood House competition.

In 2010 she was short listed in the All Poetry Competition; commended in Eastwood Hills FAW Literary Competition and feature poet in POAM. In recent years she spends some months in Greece (also travelling to other parts of Europe) living in an apartment that overlooks the Corinthian Gulf – a source of inspiration :- She walks down the slope. A rugged vista of vineyards, wild grasses, yellow sparti, pine and conifer trees engulf her – lift her to the horizon where she floats over mountain peaks and gulf until she finds herself perched on the cemetery rock where she penned her first poem.
Australia, English, Literature, PoetryPermalink

One Response to I’ll leave you now so you can read

  1. Morgan Gabrielle Gabrielle Morgan says:

    Loula, so glad you write so that I may understand the Greek way. How important it is for women to express. Great writing I enjoyed this piece immensely. Gabrielle.

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