The Lions’ Gate : Selected Poems of Titos Patrikios
Author: Translated by Christopher Bakken & Roula Konsolaki | ISBN: 1931112649 : 9781931112642 | Format: Hardback | Size: 155 x 230mm | Pages: 147 | Weight: .406 Kg. | Published: Truman State University Press – November 2006 | Availability: In Print | Subjects: Works by individual poets: from c1900-
The Lions’ Gate introduces a crucial voice in world poetry
to readers in English. Titos Patrikios is a poet of witness and engagement. A member of the intellectual left in post-war Greece, he survived imprisonment, hard labour, censorship, and exile. He narrowly escaped death by firing squad, and once had to bury his poems to keep them from discovery by the authorities. Patrikios endured years away from his home country, Greece, and was displaced from his family and literary community. His style bears the marks of that pressure and of his persistent need to pursue what might suffice in spite of such predicaments. At times reminiscent of Hikmet, Neruda, and Milosz, Patrikios’s poems sound a note of defiant celebration. This poet’s ethos is utterly humanistic and his impulses are toward praise as often as they are toward protest.
held on to his ideals after the defeat of the Greek left in the 1940s and fought against their corruption in later years, against moral decay and compromise, against the repression of the individual. His combination of political engagement and scepsis about the human species, added to the ‘low tone’ of his poetry, had a profound impact on the ‘generation of ’70’. Patríkios was born in Athens, where he read law and took up a practice as a lawyer. During the German occupation he joined a left-wing resistance group and narrowly escaped death at the hands of collaborators. He published his first poem in 1943. After the civil war he was arrested for his left-wing sympathies and imprisoned on ‘concentration islands’ for three years. In 1954 he published his first book of poems and helped set up the influential progressive magazine Epitheórisi Téchnis (Arts Review), to which he contributed features, reviews and poetry. In those years he worked as a lawyer, journalist and translator. In 1959-1964 he took postgraduate courses in sociology and philosophy in Paris. From 1964 he worked as head of research at the Greek Centre of Social Sciences, until the military dictatorship (1967-1974) forced him to seek refuge in Italy and France. Since his return to Athens he has worked as a lawyer, sociologist and translator. He has several sociological studies to his name.
Apart from fifteen collections of poetry, Patríkios has published essays and three books of prose. He translated work of Lukács, Aragon, Stendhal, Balzac and Valéry. A three-volume edition of his poems appeared in 1998: Poems I, 1943-1953; Poems II, 1953-1959; and Poems III, 1959-1973. His poetry was translated into French, English, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Serbo-Croat, Arabic, and other languages. In 1992 Italy honoured him with the ‘Salerno ’92’ international poetry prize, and in 1994 he received the Greek national poetry prize for his entire oeuvre.
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