Acclaimed Greek poet Kiki Dimoula, who has captured the despair of Greece in her more recent work, was featured in a front-page story in the International Herald Tribune, a sister publication of the New York Times, talking about what is happening to her homeland during its crushing economic crisis.
“Kiki Dimoula is the most acclaimed Greek poetess following Sappho. She is also the first living poetess to be included in the series of poems of the French publishing house Gallimard,” the article noted.
When asked to describe the situation in Greece, Dimoula said: “Dark and Chaos.” The article added that, “Mrs Dimoula has a propensity to drama, though, she chooses carefully the words she uses.”
It added: “Her poetry is simple, with deep meanings, without unnecessary sentimentalisms. Dimoula’s work is haunted by the existential dissolution of the post-world era. Her central themes are hopelessness, insecurity, absence and oblivion, through which, she is attracting her readership,” the story said. “Using diverse and twisting grammar in unconventional ways, she accentuates the power of the words through astonishment and surprise, but always manages to retain a sense of hope,” the piece said.
Last autumn, Yale University published a poignant collection of Dimoula’s poems under the title The Brazen Plagiarist, translated by Cecile Margellos and Rika Lesser. This was the first publication of Dimoula’s poems in English after two decades.
Dimoula says that she is worried of the exact and good translation of her poems, since she does not know English. “Language is my homeland,” she said. “Things can be even worst than during junta. In junta there was a stringent monitoring and leftists were pursued. Now everyone is being pursued.”