Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Deaths they have called music


According to my stat counter, my power politics posts on this thing run a lot hotter than all of the tender attention I am paying to what I consider to be a major publishing event, Nikos Stabakis' anthology Surrealism in Greece (University of Texas Press).

Since many popular blogs are niche rather than confluence in content, people seem to dip in and dip out of sites, looking for a specfic kind of thing. This makes me suspect that the power politics players think I'm whacked for dabbling in Greek Surrealism (assuming they notice at all ...), while the Surrealists probably think I am naieve for wasting my time in something as corrupted and resistant to change as power politics.

I guess I would agree with both, but ...

I involve myself in power politics to do my tiny bit toward keeping the world safe for Greek Surrealism, cabaret in St. Louis, obscure rock music, delicious craft beer. It's my view that if we stand by and do nothing while somebody like Ed Martin attacks Barack Obama, or somebody like Francis G. Slay tries to kill, still-born, a suspected attempt to unseat him as mayor, then we deserve what we get. I think Barack Obama will be better for the future of this country than John McCain and that St. Louis deserves better leadership than Francis Slay, so I do what little I can to influence the outcomes I desire.

Meanwhile, all the while, I may as well be wearing a ballcap that declares, "I'd rather be reading Greek Surrealism." So, let's read some Greek Surrealism. This is part of a poem, "The Voices," that appears in Nikos Engonopoulos' 1947 collection The Return of the Birds.

*

they call the cried-out eyes
"lady friend"
the cool scarlet lips
leaves
the erotic teeth
nightmare

love's crimson beds
abysses
the harbor's dark
waters
lamp
and they call the
rusty anchors
of dream
lament

[...]

they stand and weep
at the word hammer
they named silence
the word gate
deaths they have called
music between the
temples
and they call my
heart
a forest
in the night

*

The image is a scan of the oil painting Au rendez-vous Allemand, "Momento from the occupation. Athenean lady before the German conqueror" by the poet himself, Nikos Engonopoulos, from his website.

3 comments:

Confluence City said...

Ooops! Nikos Stabakis translation, from his anthology "Surrealism in Greece" (University of Texas Press).

King_Torch said...

Here is a short, contemporary, Surrealism in Greece overview without boring the readers; the current International Surrealist Movement is alive and well and the Group in Greece is still active, they are officially (but not limited to): 'The Athens Surrealist Group', which includes:
Yannis Alexandropoulos, Makis Chrysostomidis, Dimitris Dimitriadis, Diamantis Karavolas, Lena Konstantelou, Tasos Lizos, Sotiris Liontos, Elias Melios, Nikos Stabakis and Yorgos Yannopoulos. Some of them have their own websites but the Athens Group site is: http://greek-surrealism.tripod.com/

I will let the Athens Group know about the blog and if they wish to chime-in they might.....

King_Torch said...

There are many active International Surrealist Movement Groups and some individuals that are not in a current group but are equal.

http://torchart.com/links.cfm