Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Greek Poetry - Katerina Gogou (1940-1993)

This is another poet I read A LOT as a teenager (always in Greek). Even though she was also a actress in comedies, her poetry is really dark and her performance in this movie and record is actually haunting...
I managed to find this English translation of some of her poems and wanted to share them this Christmas Eve:

A poem by Katerina Gogou

What I fear most
is becoming "a poet"...
Locking myself in the room
gazing at the sea
and forgetting...
I fear that the stitches over my veins might heal
and, instead of having blur memories about TV news,
I take to scribbling papers and selling "my views"...
I fear that those who stepped over us might accept me
so that they can use me.
I fear that my screams might become a murmur
so that to serve putting my people to sleep.
I fear that I might learn to use meter and rhythm
and thus I will be trapped within them
longing for my verses to become popular songs.
I fear that I might buy binoculars in order to bring closer
the sabotage actions in which I won't be participating.
I fear getting tired - an easy prey for priests and academics -
and so turn into a "sissy"...
They have their ways ...
They can utilize the routine in which you get used to,
they have turned us into dogs:
they see to us being ashamed for not working...
they see to us being proud for being unemployed...
That's how it is.
Keen psychiatrists and lousy policemen
are waiting for us in the corner.
I am afraid of him...
My mind walks past him as well...
Those bastards...they are to blame...
I cannot -fuck it- even finish this writing... some other day...

Translated by G.Chalkiadakis.

Katerina Gogou: "May 25th"

One morning I will open the door
and I will go out in the streets
as I did yesterday.
And I won't be thinking about anything other than
just one piece of the father
and one piece of the sea
-those two pieces they didn't deprive me of-
and the city. The city which they transformed into a rotting corpse.
And our friends that are no more.
One morning I will open the door
straight into the fire
and I will enter as I did yesterday
shouting "fascists!!"
constructing barricades and throwing rocks
with a red banner
held high, shining in the sunbeams.
I will open the door
and it's time to tell you
-not that I am afraid-
but, see, I want to tell you that I didn't make it in time
and that you have to learn
not to be going out in the streets without weapons as I did
-because I didn't make it in time-
because then you will disappear as I disappeared
"like that" "in the void"
cracked into little pieces made
of sea, childhood years
and red banners.
One morning I will open the door
and I will be gone
carrying the dream of the revolution
within the infinite loneliness
of the paper-made barricades
bearing the label -do not believe them!-

Translated by G.Chalkiadakis.

White is
the aryan race,
the silence,
the white cells,
the cold,
the white medical gowns,
the death-gowns,
the heroin.

...These few words in order to restitute black.

Translated by G.Chalkiadakis.

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