Voices

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voices

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Ideal and beloved voices
of the dead or those who
for us are lost like the dead.

At times they talk in our dreams;
at times our minds hear them when in thought.

Continue reading “Voices”

VI

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Maurice Ravel

The orchard with its fountains in the rain
you will see only from behind the fogged up glass
of the lower window. Your room
will be lit by the fireplace flames
and sometimes, the distant lightning will reveal
the wrinkles on your face, my old Friend.

Continue reading “VI”

V

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Manolis Aligizakis translation
of George Seferis original

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We didn’t know them
_________________deep inside it was hope that said
we had met them in early childhood.
Perhaps we had seen them twice and then they went to the ships
cargoes of coal, cargoes of crops and our friends
vanished beyond the ocean forever.
Daybreak finds us beside the tired lamp
drawing on paper, awkwardly, painfully
Continue reading “V”

The Sin

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Yannis Ritsos poem – translated by Manolis Aligizakis

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They left, they left – he said. They stayed – he said in a while. They stayed.
___They exist.
Gullible days, wasted. And there were a few trees.
The roofs leaned their shoulders more impressively. George,
on top of the ladder, was fixing the plaster festoon
of the neoclassical house. Further down in the harbor
the longshoremen were creating a havoc. They carried
large wooden boxes tied with ropes. Two dogs
walked edge to edge in the street. Continue reading “The Sin”

Finch’s song

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Manolis Aligizakis

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Finch’s song

If it wasn’t for
the finch’s song
he wouldn’t know
spring had arrived.

With blurry eyes
he looked through
the open window deep
into the irises of March
and confirmed it

and in the air: ethereal
the scent of a woman’s wet mound.

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Κελάϊδισμα

Αν δεν είχε ακούσει
το κελάϊδισμα του σπίνου
δεν θά ` χε καταλάβει
πως είχε έρθει η άνοιξη.

Απ’ τ’ ανοιχτό παράθυρο
θολά τα μάτια του κοιτάξαν
βαθειά τις ίριδες του Μάρτη
που του το βεβαιώσαν

κι αιθέρια στον αέρα
η οσμή υγρής γυναίκειας ήβης.

Μανώλης Αλυγιζάκης

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Ιερόδουλες

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Μανώλης Αλιγυζάκης

Περασμένα μεσάνυχτα
στην παραχορτασμένη ατμόσφαιρα
του κασίνου τα πράγματα
δεν είναι πάντα έτσι όπως εμφανίζονται.

Κάθησα μπροστά σ’ ένα μηχανάκι
και προσπάθησα να συγχρονίσω
το νου μου στο ρυθμό της μηχανής
εγκέφαλος καχύποπτα ισορροπούσε
ανάμεσα σε ελαφρή ζάλη
και σε ολική μέθη. Continue reading “Ιερόδουλες”

Raven

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In memoriam Edgar Allan Poe

George Seferis – Translation Manolis Aligizakis

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Years like wings. What does the motionless raven remember?
What do the dead remember near the roots of trees?
Your hands had the color of the falling apple.
And this voice that always returns in a low tone.

Those who travel focus on the sail and the stars
hear the wind and beyond the wind the other sea
like a closed conch near them, they hear nothing
else, they don’t search among the shadows of
___the cypresses
Continue reading “Raven”

Hunger

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Hunger


The night passed its mouth stuffed by speechless water. At
daybreak the sun shone wet on the coiled cables.
Faces – shadows, masts – shadows, voyages –
perhaps saw them, perhaps not – our hunger was never satisfied.

Continue reading “Hunger”

Summer

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Summer

The four windows hang rhyming quatrains
made of sky and sea inside the rooms
A lonely daisy is a small wristwatch
on the arm of summer showing
twelve at noon. Thus you feel
your hair entangled in the hands of the sun
Continue reading “Summer”

Come Back

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Κωνσταντίνος Καβάφης και Ερωτισμός/
Constantine Cavafy and Eroticism

Sensuous, erotic, exact Cavafy does not so much tell a story as create an atmosphere, sweeping the reader away on a blue Aegean sea of longing. The endurance of his work is in his approach, embodying both the immediacy of the Hellenic past and the direct moment of an imagined erotic encounter.

Translated by Manolis Aligizakis

cavafy5

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COME BACK

Come back often and take me,
beloved sensation, come back and take me—
when the memory in my body awakens,
and the old desire again runs through my blood;
when the lips and the skin remember
Continue reading “Come Back”

One Night

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Κωνσταντίνος Καβάφης και Ερωτισμός/
Constantine Cavafy and Eroticism

Sensuous, erotic, exact Cavafy does not so much tell a story as create an atmosphere, sweeping the reader away on a blue Aegean sea of longing. The endurance of his work is in his approach, embodying both the immediacy of the Hellenic past and the direct moment of an imagined erotic encounter.

Translated by Manolis Aligizakis

cavafy5

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ONE NIGHT

The room was poor and cheap
hidden above the shady tavern.
From the window the street was visible,
narrow and filthy. From below
came the voices of some workers
who played cards and joked around.

Continue reading “One Night”

At the entrance to the Cafe

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Constantine Cavafy and Eroticism
Translated from the Greek by Manolis Aligizakis

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Sensuous, erotic, exact Cavafy does not so much tell a story as create an atmosphere, sweeping the reader away on a blue Aegean sea of longing. The endurance of his work is in his approach, embodying both the immediacy of the Hellenic past and the direct moment of an imagined erotic encounter.

AT THE ENTRANCE OF THE CAFE

Something they said at the next table
directed my attention to the café door.
And I saw the beautiful body that looked
like Eros had made it out of his most exquisite experience—
shaping its symmetrical limbs joyfully;
raising its sculptured stature;
Continue reading “At the entrance to the Cafe”

Autumn Comment

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MANUAL FOR EUTHANASIA
1979
ΕΓΧΕΙΡΙΔΙΟ ΕΥΘΑΝΑΣΙΑΣ

~So many stars
and I starve to death.

~ Τόσα άστρα
κι εγώ νά λιμοκτονώ
Τάσος Λειβαδίτης

Manolis Aligizakis

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Autumn Comment

The gist of my story was a black reclining chair—though
where is the house now, where is the fruit bowl with the old
invitations, the napkins that concealed our laughter—only
the lamp is lit in the empty room, like someone who talks
to himself ignorant of the danger or like a woman you never Continue reading “Autumn Comment”

Peisistratos

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MANUAL FOR EUTHANASIA
1979
ΕΓΧΕΙΡΙΔΙΟ ΕΥΘΑΝΑΣΙΑΣ

~So many stars
and I starve to death.

~ Τόσα άστρα
κι εγώ νά λιμοκτονώ
Τάσος Λειβαδίτης

Manolis Aligizakis

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Peisistratos

When, finally, after all the begging, the woman lied down and
lifted her dress, I chose to pick all the coins that fell—and all this
for a Peisistratos, as was the name of the café where I drank
my brandy and then the patrons laughed as I fell asleep on the chair
Continue reading “Peisistratos”

Perverted Passion

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MANUAL FOR EUTHANASIA
1979
ΕΓΧΕΙΡΙΔΙΟ ΕΥΘΑΝΑΣΙΑΣ

~So many stars
and I starve to death.

~ Τόσα άστρα
κι εγώ νά λιμοκτονώ
Τάσος Λειβαδίτης

Manolis Aligizakis

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Perverted Passion

Someday I’ll remember of something so nice, it’ll be
autumn, in that narrow side-street with the glass shops, where
when we went bankrupt, father sold dream books—since then
I never got of the dream although I was cold, to at least fall into
my perverted passion: melancholy or crowding—because, let us
be honest, I never loved anybody and this tender glance of mine
was just for personal use
like the immortality of the poets.

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Ανώμαλα Πάθη

Κάποτε θά θυμηθώ κάτι τόσο ωραίο, θά `ναι φθινόπωρο σ’
εκείνη τή μικρή πάροδο μέ τά υαλοπωλεία, εκεί πού, όταν ξεπέσα-
με, ο πατέρας πουλούσε ονειροκρίτες—από τότε δέν ξαναβγήκα απ’
τ’ όνειρο κι όμως κρύωνα, αλλά μπορούσα τουλάχιστο να παραδοθώ
στ’ανώμαλα πάθη μου: τή μελαγχολία ή τό συνωστισμό—γιατί,
άς είμαστε ειλικρινείς, εγώ κανένανν ποτέ δέν αγάπησα κι αυτό τό
τρυφερό βλέμμα μου ήταν γιά εντελώς ιδιωτική χρήση
σάν τήν αθανασία τών ποιητών.

Τάσος Λειβαδίτης

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Reminder

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MANUAL FOR EUTHANASIA
1979
ΕΓΧΕΙΡΙΔΙΟ ΕΥΘΑΝΑΣΙΑΣ

~So many stars
and I starve to death.

~ Τόσα άστρα
κι εγώ νά λιμοκτονώ
Τάσος Λειβαδίτης

Manolis Aligizakis

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Reminder

The room was in the suburbs, with a few pieces of furniture,
like a Gospel quotation—so everything finished quickly and
Joanna cried and run back to the station, on the other hand it was
a secret that I’d forget as I tried to mention it, then I opened the violin
case—and only, at sometimes, when I grieved I put on my tie
Continue reading “Reminder”

Afternoon Delights

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MANUAL FOR EUTHANASIA
1979
ΕΓΧΕΙΡΙΔΙΟ ΕΥΘΑΝΑΣΙΑΣ

~So many stars
and I starve to death.

~ Τόσα άστρα
κι εγώ νά λιμοκτονώ
Τάσος Λειβαδίτης

Manolis Aligizakis

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Afternoon Delights

Or perhaps to be more accurate it all started by
this clock, a stupid, baldheaded clock, it wasn’t my fault—
every afternoon I simply sat quietly on the sofa and ate my
aunties is young age, but one by one, so that the emptiness
of the wall wouldn’t show or another time in the street I spat
blood, so much the city was inelegant
Continue reading “Afternoon Delights”

Μύηση

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Μανώλης Αλυγιζάκης

Ονειρεμένη εικόνα
ασυνόρευτη του πεύκου
διαλογισμός και αχλή αφή
δαχτύλων και πνοών
που ζουν θεσπέσιους ήχους

Continue reading “Μύηση”

Summer in the City

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Yiannis Ritsos
Translation Manolis Aligizakis

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In this place the light is beyond hope. This heartless month
doesn’t allow us not to be two. You are not enough.
The monotonous clank, the streetcars turning the corner
the marble-masons cutting stones in high noon.

Above the fence-wall you could see the conventional funerary stele
marble flowers marble ribbons
the bust of a banker
the face of a child shadowed by the wing of an angel.

Continue reading “Summer in the City”

Αποκάλυψη

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Μανώλης Αλυγιζάκης

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Αποκάλυψη

Κείνες τις μέρες νοιώθαμε πως είμαστε στον δεύτερο
μήνα εγκυμοσύνης κι ο πόνος είχε σταθερή διάσταση
σαν υποτείνουσα μεταξύ σκέψης και συναισθήματος
σαν ένα χαμόγελο με πείσμα κι είμασταν πια
μεγάλοι για να μάθουμε παιγνίδια καινούργια γι αυτό
εμείναμε πιστοί στου ανέμου το πανάρχαιο μαστίγωμα
πάντα μακριά απ’ τα όνειρά μας, αλήθεια, μια ασήμαντη
εξέλιξη.
Continue reading “Αποκάλυψη”