The Canadian poet and translator Beverley Bie Brahic, is fascinated by the laconic lyrics of one of Greece’s greatest poets, the late Yannis Ritsos, saying that he was a man who spent a good part of his life resisting fascism, sometimes in prison.
In an article in the British newspaper The Guardian, she said she Ritsos as one of the prominent Greek poets of the 20th Century, revered both in Greece and abroad.
She said that “Many (of his) poems have a surrealist element. They juxtapose rather than proceed chronologically or logically, from cause to effect; they contain enigmatic and startling images that give the reader the pleasure of ferreting out connections, much as we do when we look at a cubist painting”.
She wrote that perhaps the best method to read through the poems of Ritsos is to actually read them over and over again, so as to get the feel of it. As with Apollinaire, and the surrealists who came along after the First World War, the presence of women is strong in the poetry of Ritsos.
She urged readers that a collection called In Secret, translated by David Harsen, would be an addition to any personal library. Notable works by Ritsos include Tractor (1934), Pyramids (1935), Epitaph (1936) and Vigil, 1941-1953.