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Kiki Dimoula in Translation

Kiki Dimoula is a contemporary Greek poet, known for her existential dissolution of the post-war era and her suprising and uncoventional use of words and syntax. Her poetry is full of everyday images and experiences. The following three translations are some of her better known works –

Photograph 1948

I’m holding a flower, probably.


It seems garden once passed from my life.

In my other hand,

I’m holding a rock.

With grace and arrogance.

Without the slightest idea

That I am warned about changes,

foretasting defenses.

It seems ignorance once passed from my life.

I’m smiling.

The curve of the smile,

The bending  of this mood,

Seems like a bow well arched,


It seems target once passed from my life.

And a feeling of winning.

The look sank

in the original sin:

It’s tasting the forbidden fruit

of expectation.

It seems faith once passed from my life.

My shadow, only a game of the sun.

It’s wearing the suit of hesitation.

It hasn’t quite become my friend or an informer.

It seems sufficiency once passed from my life.

You are nowhere to be seen.

But since there is a cliff in the scenery,

since I have stood on the edge

holding a flower

and smiling,

you must be coming anytime.

It seems life once passed from my life.




Immature And Untimely

In between night and dawn

wedged I found the immature time.

Τhe disrespectful birds’ joyousness woke me too early

and I came out to the ebb of the darkness.

My balcony rows quietly

in the depthless colors

The gardens are still dreaming

the coming of unknown blossoms.

The infamous horizon is slowly unfolding

like a cheap long ribbon.

The sea resembles lethe: they forgot about us.

The infinity resembles lethe: infinite lethe.

In the distance, the boat untunes

Distance brings it along and plays.

The plane of colors murmuringly rises.

The shapes approach with slow steps.

A white wing wakes up

a roof flaps,

a shutter wriggled.

Panicked a belfry wakens

guilty: faith should wake up first.

First of all.

The shapes approach with slow steps.

The doors seem closed

and the lines look stubborn.

The mountains are clear

bringing you back.

And you, expectation , where are you going?

The refusals have long woken up

And I, I that I am and I’m called advanced hour,

what am I doing among those young spirits?

The periphrastic rock


Say something, anything.

Don’t just stand there like a steel absence.

Choose even a word,

That binds you tightly

With vagueness.


“ unfair”,




“we will see”,

“ imponderable”,


There are so many words that dream a short, unbound life with your voice.


We have plenty of sea in front of us.

Where we end,

The sea starts.

Say something.

Say “wave”, that doesn’t stay still.

Say “boat”, that sinks

If you overload it with prepositions.

Say “moment”,

That screams for help, it’s drowning,

Don’t save it,


“I didn’t hear”.


Word are enemies with each other,

They have their rivalries:

If one of them captures you,

Another liberates you.

Choose a word from the night

In random.

A whole night in random.

Don’t say “whole”,

Say “the least”,

That lets you go.

The least





Whole night.


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