Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Ritsos: Alpha Beta Gamma

For a while now poet Scott King has been posting, in his blog HINTS, his translations of the 20th century Greek poet Yannis Ritsos.

A particularly powerful one Scott posted recently is "Alpha Beta Gamma" (the title in Greek is actually the three Greek letters, the first three letters of the Greek alphabet).

A few lines from Scott's translation:

(When we arrived by ship,
twisted-in among our bundles and suspicions,
we read them from on deck,
under the curses of the police, we read them
that quiet morning in July,
in the salty air with its odor of rigani and thyme
there was no way of knowing what those three white letters would
come to mean.)

The full translated poem is at the link in the second paragraph above.

The main page of Scott's blog, with many other translations of poems by Yannis Ritsos, is a the link in the first paragraph above.

Scott King is a fine poet in his own right as well, and is also the publisher of Red Dragonfly Press. A list of some of his own books of poems and other published works is here.

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