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Thursday, 8 September 2016

Nikiforos Vrettakos - The song is never interrupted in the middle!


Yesterday I bought a copy of "Selected Poems" by Nikiforos Vrettakos, translated by David Connolly.

From "I Graphi Mou" ("My Writing"):


I read the next poem (the Greek original) out loud to a prose-writer:


The laconic comment and reaction? "He's grateful for what he's got".

Some of Vrettakos' other poems have been set to music, like All the years that I was away ~ Όλα τα χρόνια που έλειπα  and Τ' όνομά σου -  and I am going to build a house ~ Θα κτίσω ένα σπίτι.

I once had the opportunity to meet him in Athens, back in 1979. Nikiforos Vrettakos is on the far right.


I translated excerpts from his poem One More Spring (from In Memoriam, 1940-1944). A few lines from my version in Corfu Blues (the book) follow:


"Let's tell them, so they understand:

Olympus will not bend, will not be lowered!

The sun doesn't change,

The colours of the country never change,

The song is never interrupted in the middle!"


******


THE FORTUNES OF 20th CENTURY GREEK POETRY IN ENGLISH TRANSLATION by DAVID CONNOLLY (Poeticanet)

About David Connolly






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