‘n Jong Griekse digter

Krystalli Glyniadakis

Krystalli Glyniadakis

Met literêre reuse soos Elytis, Seferis, Cavafy en Kazantzakis in hul geledere word die Griekse digkuns allerweë beskou as een van die mees indrukwekkende ter wêreld; en ja, toegegee, vir enige volgende generasie sal dit seker bra moeilik wees om die statuur en reputasie van hul voorgangers gestand te kan doen. Nogtans is Krystalli Glyniadakis een van die meer belowende jonger digters in Griekeland van wie kennis geneem moet word.

In ‘n onderhoud met 3:AM Magazine het sy die volgende interessante opmerking oor haar eie digwerk gemaak: “Poetry has always been for me both a medium of preservation (a photograph) and of communication with an audience (a spotlight). Utilising ‘cinematographic’ techniques, hence, creating a certain atmosphere, and simply ‘playing it by ear’ are all ways to make a poem stand out, to address and engage its audience; to elicit something more than a lukewarm response.”

Dit is egter haar opmerking oor die stand van die Griekse digkuns en die regering se onvermoë om daadwerklik in die lettere te belê, wat my laat regop sit het: “Greece has a surprisingly high volume of poetry produced each year (around 380 titles, when novels alone account for 400 titles), given that Greeks are notorious non-readers! This is even more startling if one considers the shocking absence of any state funding: There are a few grants around, but these only amount to travel expenses to and from book fairs and other places in which an author has been invited to speak, and a sort of residence programme on the island of Paros. And that’s it. As for supporting the translation of Greek works, the state bothers to do so only when Greece is the official visiting country of some international book fair (and, hence, some titles must appear in the host language!) Other than that, the state stays scandalously away from supporting Greece’s literary community. This is the reason why Greek literature and poetry stay well locked within the country’s borders. Anyone wishing to translate contemporary Greek literature into another language must either pay out of their own pocket, or find a publishing house crazy enough to risk investing in something the Greek state itself ignores…”

As toegif plaas ek een van Krystalli Glyniadakis se gedigte hieronder. Op 3:AM Magazine se webblad is daar nog van haar gedigte wat gelees kan word.


Vanoggend is daar twee besonderse plasings om aan te kondig: ten eerste ‘n digstring deur Lucie Möller waarin sy vertel van die ontstaansgeskiedenis van haar gedig “Kortstondige kalligrafie” en tweedens ‘n nuwe blog-inskrywing deur Philip de Vos.

Lekker lees en geniet die middel-in-die-week dag.

Mooi bly.



The love song of Theodorus Eleftheriades and Leyla Öztürk

Your body, supple, shifts under my palms,
the blue, Aegean stretch contracts and
my great-grandmother scrambles off that boat
in reverse, and starts her rearward march
from Izmir towards Ankara, step by dragging, backwards step,
each breath a drop of sweat that’s lifted off the ground
and locks itself back on her clammy scalp.

When I touch you, a muezzin’s song rings golden
through the city, and my aunts and uncles
reach their cool, green porch.
One foot skips back over the threshold,
then another; the sound of chains being unlocked.
A dozen outstretched hands forget the smell of metal.

You kiss me and my great-grandfather draws in
his final breath and leaps, suddenly, into life.
The rope around his body comes loose
and then recoils against some soldier’s belt;
he scrambles forth, away from his tree-trunk, supported
by two soldiers, hugs his daughter tightly, as tears roll in his eyes
upwards; the blood evaporates from my grandmother’s apron.

The horses and the cars pull out from Akhisar,
sucking their dust in, as you lean into me,
placing your weight against me. We hear
the summer crickets burst into their sudden song.
Behind the partly drawn blinds, the fields
are bathed in rising heat; the water vaporizes,
creating mirage upon mirage of movement.
Someone lifts his hand onto his brow and,
peering far into the distance towards Ankara,
wonders in silence, what is this cloud of rising dust?


© Krystalli Glyniadakis


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