Observations & meditations on the day-to-day
Greek poetry in the shadow of austerity.
In my recent post on Anna Pasternack’s “Lara” I bemoaned the fact that, in the West today, we are not as sensitive to poetry as the Russians were – and are still. It turns out I may have been wrong. Here’s an article from The New Yorker’ that discusses how important poetry has recently become in Greece on the back of austerity.
“The poet Jack Spicer famously compared the poet to a radio: when the writer is really listening in, he or she simply receives transmissions at a certain frequency. Ultimately, Spicer implies, there’s little control over what comes across onto the page. This kind of thinking initially seems to concern the mystery of individual inspiration—where our ideas come from. But is there a frequency for public devastation that has grown too loud to ignore, signals that start to impinge on every part of life?”
Illustration by Seb Agresti for The New Yorker.
“For the past decade, the news in Greece has been grim, and a surplus of poets have tuned in”.
Elena Penga describing a menace in plain sight:
The cherry trees in the neighbor’s yard haven’t had fruit for years. Four men enter carrying sticks. They enter the neighbor’s yard along with the rain. They’ve come to discipline the trees and chop them down if they don’t blossom. I watch the men hit the trees. I watch the rain hit the men.