FOR THE POETRY OF EFI ATHANASSIOU
Des poemes, simples en
apparence, mais gonfles de pensees profondes et de sentiments genereux.
Des poemes qui creusent le destin humain pour retrouver une image
premiere de ce que nous fumes alors que nous n'etions pas encore moules
par la vie, que la joie n'etait pas encore douleur et que l'espoir
s'appelait vraiment l'espoir et non pas resignation.
Il y a dans la poesie d'Efi
Athanassiou un melange de gravite et de legerete qui peut faire croire a
un jeu de la part de l'auteur, mais qu' on ne s'y trompe pas : n'est ce
point la meme le visage de l'existence ?
genuine poetry in the "March First" of Efi Athanassiou and the
possibility, moreover, of formation of a personal style is evident.
However, in the “March First” we have something to notice: the tendency
of Athanasssiou towards the divesting of things and her ability to catch
subjects hard, subjects that present to us life disunited or covered
with repulsive lies. Her experiences are realistic and her disposition
sarcastic, but it is exactly this which leads her not towards the
laughter or the satire, but towards the pain and agony.
She shows the ugliness, the inhuman, the hard with a trembling of the
fingers, as if she aims to its effacement, as if she is telling us with
pain “look who we are…” This opposing to the social conformism shows an
independence of soul. And this soul is continuously shocked, because it
suffers for the truth, because she always tries to put in order, inside
her, the feelings and memories, which torment her. All these show a
boiling of soul that does not quieten and tries to be relieved in
Efi Athanassiou is not, perhaps, as much as it should
be, known to the selective public, which follows the new poetry in our
country. However, she is a real poetess. In the book she has sent us is
revealed a right depicting of real life and a deep humanism. The
subjective element, with the sensitivity and the gentle passion, creates
and expresses images and sentimental situations of the objective world.
These are the main characteristic features of her talent.
Many of her poems spout a dramatic emotion of individual and social
truth. Her images various, clear, many sparkle, as if they want to
create a new world, ideal and charming, and others evoke somehow a
tragic exposition of human pain… She wrestles with the image and with
the feelings. She explains an anguish psychology and problems of the man
of today with his wounds and his sorrows.
She has a powerful sensibility.
"Elefthero Pneuma Periodical”
I read carefully your two books “T.S. Elliot, Four
Quartets” and “Exodos pros ti Nea Epochi”. The first book is rare for
the Greek letters. It is of a level of detailed doctoral thesis. You
have done much work and it is evident that the quantity is accompanied
I am obliged to congratulate you for a unique book in
the Greek Letters of rare profundity and close detailed analysis.
The collection “Exodos” is often a reflection of what
you write in the analysis of the Quartets. One finds in them diffused
the pursuit of Knowledge and of the most permanent which is our
salvation. I don’t know if this Knowledge exists in the long run and for
the wider population, nor which its value is.
However, I will confess that I prefer your less
intellectual poems, which touch strings of simple men like me. The poem
“My mother” was, from this aspect, stirring while I very much like “
You have versatility and wide learning that is
transparent in both these books. I believe that you contribute, with
splendour to the literary present of Greece which often appears poor.
Rector of the University of Crete
Your sensibility and culture have the quality that
makes our most authentic virtues to belong to others. Psychograms like
“the children” of page 19 in the collection “System of Fissures” fulfil
crucially the scope of literature, to present some specific man in his
marginal conditions. I am extremely glad that you have escaped from the
plexus of the “poetical form” which troubles almost two centuries
Europe. Just today becomes obvious that the Western World was going to
embellish the disturbance that was taking place in the rooting of
humanity, as if it did not want to see neither the destruction of the
old nor the invasion of the new values in history.
You, however, continue the great tradition which
knows that the essence when it bids fare-well and when for the first
time sees the world, does not need neither shroud nor swaddlings.
I wish you to find the strength to give men what you
have representively lived, on behalf of them.
With comradely greetings.
Professor of the Department of Philosophy and
University of Ioannina
Everyday life, like water that gushes impetusly from
the rock, with small phrases, half words, that come out in a rhythm like
gasping. These direct images of life, succeed one an other, like an
excitement, an agony, in front of this everyday and unexpectedly warm
event, that makes the nothing a significant and important action.
Original expression, singular, a poetry of the small
common things, which take sudden dimensions. Parentheses many times
incoherent, phrases fragmented take value, associative jumps valorise
In any case she does not depart from her own peculiar
expressive method, which renders a liveliness to the whole of her style
and poetry to this realism without affectation, that has as its target
the simple communication and it does not yearn for poetry and has, as a
written address, so much cheerfulness and joy of life.
I was preparing to write you in praise of your fine
and genuine poetry I found to touch me in the verses of “Transitions”.
Afterwards, however, I read the “System of Fissures” and then, from
certain poems, sprang up and pierced me like a sword a genuine human
pain ( “ Birthday”, “Car”, “Walk” and others). And so the one impression
completes the other.
I congratulate you and thank you. I wish you more
With much estimation.
MICHAEL D. STASSINOPOULOS
President of Democracy
Though I knew what was in progress, your double
present was a beautiful surprise. And only the irreproachable editorial
appearance prepossesses pleasantly for the contents.
Melancholy, enough depression but also
trembling sensitivity springs up (Transitions) with the beautiful and so
true conclusion of the Epitaph. As far as the Fissures are concerned,
even here the depression is not missing, however it is of another form,
of a spasmodic regard in the world of vanities.
If you think this, that only you and I, perhaps, have
remained to fathom introspections, within a world that wants to be
ignored. When what is only seen is the object – do not be frightened.
Not even renounce this voice of the bottom. What ever they say, whatever
happens, the only extant is this permanent depth, this we examine and
belongs to us. As long as the life remains to us, let the study of it
remain and according to our strength, the expression of it. God be with
The asthmatic character of the form in your
poems, within the essence of the existential poetry, has coincided with
the bitterness and disappointment almost nightmarish (when some
resignation is not betrayed) of the essence (Best sample the 4.30 Flight
This coincidence of form and essence – that is the
finding of the proper aesthetic expressive tone – is a success – and the
most truthful sample of pure lyric creation. Especially interesting for
the student the two writings which I suppose have as their subject
Yannena. Their conception different, the one (At Yannena in Eripus)
clear descriptive, the other (So much have I stared) more inward and
Both these writings, imprints of love, contribute to
the more complete appreciation of your work and your emotions. This is
assisted by the Kavafic influence which is found in both.
Another token of purity in your poetry, is how much
you surpass your subjective impulses and attain, by far broader
messages, interpretative of the human fate and of the pain that has as
its dregs, which somehow calm it like beautiful pyrotechnics, brilliant
visions (Child that you play the broken wheel), (Yesterday).
Every one of the whole series of brief and
epigrammatic poems teaches something, apparently for a life failed,
essentially for the vanity of life in general. However, excessive
bitterness everywhere, to such an extent that life seems to be hanging
from nostalgias even for illusions (23) and contradictions (22).
No doubt very evocative the “Remember”, the “From
time to time”, the “Done”, the “Window to the storm”, “Practically
impossible”, but I cannot enumerate all, because all impact to me
emotion. And even more evocative is, for one, to see in some poems, down
at the date the handwritten note (the so much meaning) “Night”.
Especially apocalyptic is the “ Inferno” or the “Book”, or
If you want me, however, to confess what is
absolutely identified with my personal, the mystique theognosy
(Knowledge of God) and also aesthetic, I will confine myself to the
three little verses of your Epitaph, which in the most absolute way I
adopt, because it includes the amalgam, constituent of the transient
life, which is composed by Pain and Beauty.
And I complete this somehow incoherent heaping up of
impressions, the without any claim of criticism, but only of an “Act of
Communication” I add an entirely superficial observation that passed
from my mind:
Associating “pro acto de cerebration inconsiente” as
a great Southamerican poet, Ruben Dario says, what was written on the
card which accompanied your poems, that is “Institute of Geology and
Subsurface Research”, with your poem that has the title “ Open view’, I
wanted, with insistence, to find a correlation like a distant influence.
And expanding afterwards, as we have the tendency to take recourse to
symbols, I reflect, that it might be possible that all our inward life
is a continuous “subsurface research”, unexplored finally unfortunately,
with only outlet the mystical and irrational forces, which only have the
power to disrupt our darkness ( that you somehow hint in “In the
Inferno”). Thank you that you gave me the chance to explore all these
First of May
aesthetic character of the form, within the essence of the existential
poetry, in the poems of Efi Athanassiou has coincided with the
bitterness and the disappointment, the almost nightmarish (when some
resignation is not revealed) of the essence. This coincidence of form
and essence that is the finding of the suitable expressive tone is a
success and the truest sample of pure lyric creation.
presenting myself I would like to tell you that I feel particularly glad
when distinguished women attempt to escape from the standardized
literature and conquer new areas, as for instance Natalie Sarraute, in
Nouveau Roman, has achieved as no man follower of the oldfashioned
literature has, up to now, managed.
texts seem to me very interesting , as they go to the direction of the
contemporary poetic prose (siukturellen prosa), as nearly of Ingeborg
Bachman’s or of Eisenberge's, but of this last in the direction of the
newest poetic prose.
That you are
in the right way I believe is definite, because these go to the
literature, while the Greek prose, with the expression of its
provincialism and pathos, only around it has turned.
guess your age and if you have many more beautiful written or published,
but I wish you courage, good luck and persistence.
carefully the two books; you were so kind to send me. The Transition has
interesting elements. They show a familiarity in the look of things and
a humanism inwardly moved. In this collection of yours there are poems
which arrest you. I liked the climate and the chromatic disposition in
your poems “In the garden” and “ Light of the afternoon”.
original and interesting “Cyclic Poem”, and your most beautiful poems
“Exit to the New Age”. I found impressive the conclusions of your poems.
They contain very deep meanings as the “They called her woman /this one
only / is enough” or “To remember what you are, what you always have
two months have passed that I have your books on my table, I have read
them many times and however I have not called you, I did not see you. I
have been away in Aegina you see.
warmth, humanism, all together give forth the thinking man, a thing
which for me is very important; it is a rare virtue, rare because it is
missing even from those which the philology has classified them in the
"Transition" has various materials. In the “System of Fissures”
certainly something else is attempted. The intrusion in “things” is
deeper and more pragmatic I would say.
observation and bitter without ornaments.
of my principles I must tell you that this letter of mine I have written
to praise earnestly your significant work.
I liked very
much “Transitions” with the metaphysical sense that characterizes them.
the Athens University
is one of the very few bridges of communication which have remained in
great joy I will present you to the Polonic public.
therefore, I shall expect every new work of yours.
I first read
the “System of Fissures”. I give you my hand. I give you my love. This
book of yours is a masterpiece
I have read
the “Transitions” and “System of Fissures” and in order to write you
today I read them again.
loved your poetry, and as much as I become more acquainted with it I
ascertain its genuine vein, which in this last offer of you is full of
juices and is poured rich, with the same always sensitivity, that
becomes more and more personal, with the same always reflection that we
now find more penetrating to the problems of life and of our epoch.
spite of all its contemporary dress and its diversified fluctuation, it
has a transparency and brilliant clarity and this I think witnesses its
moved me the songs of mother’s love with their deep devout truth.
an experience won by art . And the mother with the inexhaustible
tenderness which it is this later that gives the dimensions to the pain
and the devastation, is painted, engraved better, with haematic chisel
in refined sublime verses.
With my love
and deep estimation
MAYROIDI – PAPADAKI
E. Athanassiou: System of Fissures-Transitions.
It is not the substantial of the meditation, that
gives to the poetry of E. Athanassiou, something special, absolutely
personal-it is mainly the Knowledge that she herself has about what
constitutes poetry, that for constituting it must penetrate in its
space. Because ,we have said it again: all cannot be altered to poetry,
because in their deeper being there is the poetic disposition, and here
is due the quantitative which distinguishes poetry, that is to
have adequate cultivation of its area and not to have the competent
result.That is a great quantily and a slight quality. Because the above
principle is known to very few.
E. Athanassiou knows it. It is for this reason
whatever she includes in her collectionw(IKAROS Publications) halts you
tactfully, it obliges you to follow it with ease and ascertain that the
poeters lives the problem of the time:man and she is aspiring to give to
it a solution her own certainly, but not at all irrelevant to the
This explains why any one fissure of life renders her
the right to create a kind of transition to the true flow, to that which
as much as it changes its appearance it guards in depth, the essence of
A poetry with content, with effort of introspection
of man and of that which makes him eternal problem, includes Athanassiou
in her two poetic collections, a poetry that we do not encounter often.
ATHANASIOU: ‘System of Fissures’. A new kind of speech and writing,
which partakes in poetry, theatre and prose and tends to break the
traditional catch-phrases of Greek literature the provincialism and the
passion. It attempts an anatomy of the social phenomena touching a top
ranking subject, again in the literary field-the creation of life by
woman and her place within it ,as the greatest ‘racial’ matter of
36,"IKAROS" EDITIONS Athens 1972.
ATHANASIOU: ‘Transitions’. A without trace of philology, poetic
recording of painful experiences, which grade from the dramatic up to
the tragic, with reference to the generally, human as they transit to an
allegory of geological phenomena from the suffering to joy, as in
Bethoven and the ‘enantiadromia’ of Heraclitus.
96, ‘IKAROS’ Editions Athens 1972
VRADINI, January 3,1972
TRANSITIONS,SYSTEM OF FISSURES, of Efi Athanasiou.
poetry collection, recording of painful experiences, which are referred
to the generally human, in transition from the sorrow to joy. The
second, a synthesis of poetry, prose and theatrical speech. With this
synthesis it is attempted an anatomy of the social phenomena, touching
the creation of life from the woman and its position in life as the
greatest’ racial; question of humanity.
With inexpressible joy I received your book and I
would like to thank you immensely.
I have read with interest the whole volume
of the collection “TRANSITIONS” and of the collection ’SYSTEM OF
FISSURES’ and found out here as well, your characteristic nice modesty,
which is mentioned in the enclosed note.
Dear friend, it is not a matter of consequence if
these work of yours represent you, but the weight, the fact is that they
are significant poetic creations. Your books now in my hands, show quite
clearly that their creator not only has an indisputable more than
important talent, but that also there is in it a sample of powerful poetic
Infinite creative elements, compose wonderful poetic
images, in respect of the formal architecture. A rich sentiment
vividness of thought, lyric disposition and personal style of a great
sensibility, for recording experiences.
Above all, however, the exact balanced
abstraction - where the remmant shows what is left from a saving
operation-place you poetry to an important position according to its
In reading your books, your countenance was coming
to my memory, with the modest appearance, the sensitive facing of
certain situations in respect with humanism, the laconic of the saccinct
speech and yourself control. So before all the others, I was seeing an
harmony of the speech with the personal actions in the whole of life. A
symphony to prevail between the human being and the spiritual creator.
In the character and the work, and the laws of the existence teach us
that the deep works come only from life, from the personal experience
and the live example.
It is what Goethe was saying: ‘’the light that
burns the soul and the flesh, that becomes a fire in the pure atmosphere
of a very conscious, very crystalline spirituality, to become in the end
a light meteor.’’
Your poetic ability materialized in your work. I have
read and studied is such as to offer many, contributing to the Greek
From the ‘IKAROS’ editions has been published the
poetic collection of Efi Athanassiou ‘Transitions’: a recording of
painful experiences which are escalated from the dramatic to the tragic.
From the “IKAROS” editions has been published the new
book of Efi Athanassiou ‘System of Fissures’ that introduces a new
kind of writing which partaking to the poetry, theatre and prose, breaks
the traditional cliches. With the ‘System of Fissures’ Efi Athanassiou
attemps an anatomy of the social phenomena.
NEA NEWSPAPER 17-12-71
The poetry of Efi Athanassiou opens great horizons.
Though she wavers between a static form an
impetus that is defined from a more elaborated manifestation of the
sentiment and even if she is divided by a glance to the past and an opening
to other ways where light is intersected by darkness she retains a
weight of consciousness and thought that creates a substantial and
Phenomenally hard, it is like a metal which is
transformed when forged. The sentiment is reinforced with the expression
of a cry, which sometimes is slightly revealed but it is only ‘as a
name’ present, with a pain, that does not want to be recognized as pain.
SYSTEM OF FISSURES
collection we are in front of a poetry completely different, entirely
synchronized (modernized) one could say.
The poetess is entirely immersed to it and poetry
becomes movement, integrated uniform rhythm.
Every word includes a dynamic of movement and at the
back of it an integrated world is revealed, which lives, moves, acts and
thinks. A detail which can escape to us becomes for her a motive, a
cause and a pretence for a poetic construction extraordinarily alive.
This justification, in research, leads us to the
choice of the poetic expression. The poetess has well understood it. She
knows to subdue the architecture of her verses, with the use of a brief,
comprehensive, concise style, where the juxtaposition of elements
succeeded different rhythms.
Such a march has Efi Athanassiou attempted.
(Translation from the French text)
I have read with interest your poems, because
I have ascertained your talent from your previous books.
I enjoyed now your anodic march and I warmly
congratulate you. The ‘Transitions’ stopped me and moved me more. Your
wonderful poem, that inspired you my country, (of the page 4) At Yiannena-In
Epirus’, filled me, most especially, with enthusiasm.
I copied and keep it, to use it, when I proceed to
the second edition of my book ‘Pamvotis in Poetry’.
At my first opportunity I will send you this book to
see how many and how have sung the legendary lake of Frossini,
-ATHANASSIOU EFFI-System de fissures
Ikaros, 1971;in –8,36
-ATHANASSIOU EFFI- Transitions-Ed.Ikaros,1971;in-8,32 p
Systeme de fissures,
discours profus et mobile
parlant qui parait n'avoir a dire que par lui-meme et sans cesse, est
I'envers de la trame. C 'est le lieu
des choses qui dissent ou que l'on a
a dire. Registre d'entrees,
matieres inscrites en depot ou en
consignation, sans souci d'inventaire
et encore moins de bilan. Ce monde de la representation est
toutefois sillonne de fissures:
interrogations, injonctions, voux: c'est a I'avers de la trame que,
par transition, le monde de
ces choses va server d'arene a
la rencontre entre I'^etre et la vie.
par signaux (chaque vers
qu'un, deux ou trois mots, termes
semaphoriques d'un message suspendu), et une
dents de scie, ou intermittente,ouenumerative:
dents de scie, grains de chapelet,
successifs qui forment ou enoncent un
rien combler de I'abime qui Ies separe.
Ce qui est
dit, c'est |'Aetre et la vie, ainsi joints,
disjoints dans Ies stratifications sedimentaires
vie inconsciente et que viennent rompre
de brusques images, vehementes
remontees de laves qui sont moins
braise ardente qu'archeologie
de belles cendres.
Analytical Bulletin of the French Institute)
A defused melancholy, something unsatisfied, the
sense of alienation of modern man is hinted in the verses of Efi
Athanassiou as we find them in her new collection ’March second’
published by ‘IKAROS’ .It alludes also, the poetry of Efi
Athanassiou, to a paradise lost and a hope for the future.
Having as a ‘’target’’ the ‘’ephemeral’’ the poetess
often achieves, as she draws directly from her personal experience to
give a profundity, that touches the permanently human.
And it is ,I think, exactly this, the insistent care
to remain faithful to herself, not to touch anything of those that she
has not a direct taste of them, has not felt them, or they have not
moved her, that takes away any suspicion of ‘philology’ from the poetry
of E. Athanassiou and makes it extremely attractive. Today, that the
great speech and the vacant word and the standardized (cliche)
expression are going to reduce to permanent characteristics of the
poetry of many young, the unaffected and sensitive voice of E.
Athanassiou it is natural of course that it stops us.
Je ne crois pas me tromper en affirmant que la poetesse
Efi Athanassiou apparait de plus en plus comme l’une des voix les plus
authentiques de la poesie grecque moderne.
Sa poesie est autre chose qu’un divertissement. Elle a
du poids et de la forrce; elle ne decoule pas d’une acrobatie
spirituelle mais d’une pensee profondement etudiee et pesee qui cherche au travers de
la futiliite de l’existence a attendre la stabilite interieure,et dans
le cadre du reve a delimiter la continuite de l’experience dans le temps
et au- de la du temps.
Surprise me pleasantly, the full of vibration and
vigor, the sound, comprehensive, philosophized epigrams of Efi
Athanassiou. I call them so because, though their content is deep, the
expression is always brief, quintessence of meditation and deep pain.
Dream and pain her material and creator the art and
I think that within the general renovating march of
contemporary poetry, E. Athanassiou follows her personal path. With the
genuine lyrism, the woman sensitivity and the litotes of form.
It has a fiery essence the poetry of E. Athanassiou
as we study it in her collection ‘March second’. A substance that burns
down the things, presenting in there inward sections. Catalytic we would
call it ,in the meaning that it breaks mercilessly-with hardness in the
speech –the surface, the form, giving us what is beyond of the visible.
Beyond the beauty appearance of things or situations.
There is in all the poems, an existential
problematism, sometimes undiagnosed, which creates a stormy overflowing
Sentiments which are expressed by poetic forms which
bear in their external structure also the marks of the turbulence. The internal
sarcastic attitude against the world, which is analyzed under the
pitiless penetration of the poetic lancet.
We have perhaps exceedingly stressed this
point in the poetry of Athanassiou, but it is this which excels and
gives its particular sense in the structure of the verses.
It should, by any means, be noted that the internal
agony is absolutely harmonized with the external expression.
‘’Machi’’ Newspaper of
An harmonic whole of realistic and idealistic (symbolistic)
facing and recording of the things in the second poetic collection of
Efi Athanassiou. And certainly the personal tone, a new brilliance of
words and an effort to deepen the meanings we did not fail to remark
A new poetic voice that comes to relate us her own
The second poetic collection of E. Athanassiou, from
the first month of its circulation has attracted a lot of praising
criticism for the personal tone ,the clear cut of the speech ,the
profundity of the meanings, the substantial attitude towards all
that happen in our time and its deep humanism.
Efi Athanassiou, in ‘’March second’’ has a genuine
Her work shows us even a remarkable degree of
spirituality, as also the continuous exercise within the poetic area.
The communion of art is transmitted selfsame and the procedure, in spite
of some hardness veneer, which is slightly betrayed in the form, moves.
‘’NATIONAL HERALD OF PATRAS’’ NEWSPAPER
The poems of E. Athanassiou have a style and a
vibration painful. Her poetry is divested of embellishments and needless
periwinkles .It is a poetry hard and implacable sarcastic and realistic.
The symbols and the tone of her poetry have something from the roughness
of our days. Her verse is a tragic exposition of human pain.
Her experiences, from her contact with the art,
presents us Efi Athanassiou in her first book. This scope, which is
manifested with anxieties and work which sometimes revolves round the
life of artists and some other times around the objective description of
the types and situations that surround them, constitutes a nice and
original subject. A sane concept about life and the aesthetic
achievements is in fact offered.
In her second book what we observe is that the verses
of Efi Athanassiou have acquired a greater music rhythm, they easily
jump on a meter more inward .Happily she does not destroy her
spontaneous verses with unnecessary retouches, which often alter a
genuine voice to that of a husky phonograph.
The poetess herself, her nature, emerges from
the things and their reflections .There is undoubtedly a chromatic
concept, since moreover Efi Athanassiou is a painter. She transforms the
vibrations of the colour to those of the sound and the sense of speech.
It is also given to us this content of the mystic voice which interprets
impressions from her surroundings and the incidents that she lives. We
follow this pleasant alteration of thoughts and sentiments without
stumbling on difficult enigmatic phrases or conventional terminologies.
The poetess believes to the social scope of this
elevation of hers over the ugly reality.
We feel her agony for reaching a higher step on the
aesthetic and cultural life. Many of her thoughts gaze the future. We
always return to a Greek vision to the clear sky of the Greek nature and
of the landscape which ceased to be tragic.
We do not encounter-as in other young people
collections-the word death.
Reading poems of Efi Athanassiou you feel under every
verse a warm heart throbbing and a sensitive soul full of humanism to be
in agony not only for today ,but also for tomorrow and for the distant
future. In the march which mark with a luminous line her two poetic
collections ‘’March first’ (1965) and ‘’March second’’ one finds out a
continuous escalation of her agony ,which is also the agony of the
today’s cultured man, escalation in depth of a bloody inward search for
finding the truth in that saves.
If you listen carefully the verses of the song ‘’The
uncompromised’’ you will listen to a powerful cry that you will not be
able to easily decipher what exactly is: A cry of pain that is redeeming
,or a cry of desperation and rending for what snorts in her or happens
around her. Agony without a salvation or salvation that comes with a
tragic ‘No’ in life-that is like a negation which is stamped with a
gunshot on the temple.
However you will understand that at the back of this
uncompromised there is the poetess herself. And so you will find the key
to open the door of her soul and conceive the central core of her
In the ‘’March Second’’ the agony of the poetess, who
looks continuously inwardly and searches to find her God is more
distinct. Among thorns that bleed her march, between interrogations, of
anguish and agitation ,the great cry will be heard:
‘’What to glorify? With what?
Substantially, the march of the poetess is a march
towards the real liberty of man –a meaning which she expresses often and
with wonderful poetic forms in the few verses of her song
‘’Drunkenness’’. And only with these two collections the poetess is
worthy of having a distinguished place in the Neohellenic Parnassus and
to be counted among the most lyrical women voices of our contemporary
‘’SIMEA KALAMON’’ NEWSPAPER
Fighting disposition in low tones. Calm like a
whisper the facing of our difficulty epoch ‘’that obstructs the
ways to the ideals’’. Much sentiment and humanism. Laconic ,
epigrammatic and sententious the verse.’’
‘’PHOS’’ NEWSPAPER OF CAIR
Thank you for your true poetry
Warm thanks for your true remarkable poetic
Professor of the University of Thessaloniki
Efi's Athanasiou: ‘’System of fissures’’
One could suppose or ascertain too, the commendable
effort to structure a personal ‘’poetic ‘’ in the collection ‘’System of
Fissures’’ of Efi Athanassiou.
We have singled out this collection, from a group of
having somehow orientations of the kind, because we can place it in
the climate of sentimentalism and the direct emotional lyrism which
holds a wide section in our contemporary poetry. It is there that also
leads us her previous collection ‘’Transitions’’, (1971).
It is a manifestation of remarkable ‘’poetic
directness’’ with a rich underground of lively experiences, but of
directness also, looking for a style more personal, with an effort
evident to be impressive and original. She has brought us so with the’’
System of Fissures’’ to another poetic possibility of writing.
has a direct connection with her pursuits and with as many as she
accomplishes. It is not abstract or accidental and this is also
something, because so many are our young verse-writers who catch
themselves from the hair of luck. In the moment is favorable, they can
gain something. But most of the time it isn’t.
Athanassiou has not, at all, been relied on luck, but on the
There is a
poetic reason in her new effort, which constitutes not in describing in
parataxis her images or the iconographic harvesting of her imagination,
but to pierce them with impetus, vertically as it happens with the
drilling machines in the streets or the machinery for finding oil-wells.
So, the poem, or the poetic material, gushes from down upwards,
spurting, like the water of the jets.
of Athanasiou is somehow an external and “mechanistic” because she uses
systematically and over abundantly the semicolons and the brief, gasping
phrases, which are abrupt lively stopped by full stops, but often is
resulting to the vividness of the style and the preserving of the first
liveliness which characterizes a poem from zero to the expression.
It is as if
Athanassiou is deliberately concentrated to the external characteristics
of our life, its acoustic and imagery. Perhaps she regards now vain the
“inward expression”, as if it has been abolished by the feverish
factionalism of our industrialized life.
writes her poems mixed with the hasty crowd between the yellow and the
green light of the passages. This attitude is also a poetic view point
that not only justifies it, our epoch, but also it imposes it, when
somebody knows to make use of it, as Athanassiou in entirety achieves
it, giving us these “instantaneous synchronouses”, which however all
together compose a quite phantasmagoric picture which is objective and at
the same time poetic.
PERIODICAL No 1084 (VOLUME 92nd)
collection “System of Fissures” (precious poetic efforts “ March First”
1965 and “ March Second” 1996) Efi
Athanassiou aims to photostatically preserve specific daily moments, of
private evidently character. The whole psychic climate of the
collection is subject to the style of the personal diary and
the ethos of a conversationalistic relaxation, accompanied by culture
structure of the speech is psychic and the only effort to point out the
specific distinction is exhausted in the small sentences, the
unconnected shape, the semi-periods (with overuse of the semicolon),
up and very often in dialogical expression (theatricality, which aspires
to be transformed to an other dimension of the poetic expression.
as for inspiration and recording is the second collection of Efi
escaping from the basic ethos of the diary enumeration, of the
composition of the personal impressions and the parataxis description,
she appears in the “Transitions” more poetical climate in the lyric form
and the image arrangement and her opinion element is disposing a more
evocative metaphysical tone. The metaphorical equipment is successful
and in certain poems (as for instance “Of the storm”, “Spring Time” and
the expressive means become more personal, more familiar and more
Athanassiou known also as a painter, gives as a genuine poetry which is
distinguished for its deep lyrism and her love for whatever is human and
creative, her love for the good, the permanent constitutes the dough
which forms her verse. She devests the negation and projects the new
world with all its virtues, leaving her emotion to appear clearly, in an
aesthetic grandeur, from which her gentle sentiments pass.
sees the ghosts of the evil to demolish her dreams for the world of
love, the virtue that holds the Sumpligades Stones open, she is not
disappointed. She grows to gigantic dimensions from the here ruins.
from the Greek)
When I will find again my voice
All the cries
They have been mute within me
In the time of silence
will be crystallized
In one * only word you
I recognise you
Penetrates the wind
Enlives all sounds
Opens new routes
Canals in the universes
Rolls me up
And refreshes me.
You blow me
And become a tree
Open eyes in the light
At your sight
In light I search for you dazzled
And every moment I find you
And I am resurrected
With you united
Over space and time
Which gave me birth
And no more I have country
I escape from the earth
And I roll with you
In the infinite.
When you touch me
Have flowers and fruits
Swing in the wind
I endure showers
And find you again
Take roots very deep
And you give me water
I become field
You plough me
I grow grass
The wind blows me
Caresses me on the ends
Rain that falls
The rising sun
Leaves me its glow
Fiery burns me up
I become dust
I rise high
With is I iridish
I pass in the molecules
Within the light I am darted
I dance in circles
Where you show me
Open the way
And find you
You give me the hand
I take it
I fly with you
I am raised
We pass valleys
Your passing marked
And I recognised you
That you rolled
Deep inside me
Bells of other far away worlds
Brought me near you.
In a country
Where you stumble
In a place
Where I knew no language
I uttered cries
Like a light house
I threw signals
And I was sinking
Threw an island
Took me on your boat
Got the steering wheel
And lead me
To the other sore.
I had the face
Stuck on the soil
In the warm's route
I only knew.
You came with your magic stick
Threw to me
A fresh mulberry leaf
I take out my silk threads
I knit my cocoon
And there I nestle.
At your silence
In lightning speed
I pass like a wind
Through me transformations
I become a chrysalis
I jerk my feathers
To another birth
Other perspective of the world
That has not changed.
Open an eyelid to light
A and Ω**
I know not
Neither do I the wounds of the world
Only the colours
A new creation
Is throw in front
The cobwebed house.
All open to the lights
I follow you anywhere
The orbit of the stars
Which burst out
With you I travel
I pass mountains
Worlds and universes
I see you
I recognise you
I feel you
It is You
That You are found
* In Greek there is only one word "ΥΠΑΡΧΕΙΣ"
** The first and last letters
of the Greek alphabet.