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Wednesday, 20 March 2013

The Cyprus Vote, and the Death of a Poet

Open Europe analysis (brief)

Full analysis

Warning (BBC)

The Telegraph

Influence on Greece

I was just about to write to Niki Marangou, to get a poet's view of the situation: to learn the truth.

Then I read the tragic news that last month she was killed in a car accident in Egypt, on 7 February 2013.

I read that Niki Marangou "was on an excursion with other peope in the city of Fayoum, 130 kilometers south of Cairo, when their car overturned after a tyre blow out".

That is the greatest loss to Cyprus. Forget the money.

The last communication I received from her was this Christmas card, dated 19 December 2012, with the message -

Dear Friends

Because of the economic crisis I am sending my handmade cards this year electronically!

With love,

Niki Marangou

Some of Niki's poetry (in Greek and English).

A poem she sent her friends in 2011:

"On woman's day I am sending you a poem I wrote for my mother who died on the 8 of March, woman's day".

Niki Marangou


I did not take her flowers
but I got up early
to find fresh fish in the market
I also found sour apples for a pie
like she used to bake
on her good days.
Strudel and schnitzel from Vienna
and dumplings like aunt Matina’s.

I did not take her flowers
but switched off the oven in time
to make the meeting at the shop

picked up George from school
together we gave the dog a bath
and then he wanted me to read him seven tales.

I did not take her flowers,
but I managed to work for two hours on the computer.
Then I went to see Mrs Demetra,
she recognised me by my voice
I had not seen her for some time, I took her some fasting cake

and sat by her and we talked.

I did not take her flowers

but I pruned the verbena and gave some fertilizer

to the trees. I moved the gardenias so they could catch the morning sun
and put the winter clothes away
carefully, so they would not be eaten by the moths.

I copy her movements carefully
how she kneaded the dough, brushed oil on the pastry,
went up, down, and took care of us all.

I did not take her flowers

but I try like her
to take care of this house and its occupants
like she taught me, with love and care.

I copy her movements carefully
carefully, so they will not be eaten by the moths.

Niki Marangou

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