Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Katerina Gogou (1940-1993)

There is little information in English on poet Katerian Gogou. She is also known for her work as an actress, usually playing the roles of a servant in the houses of the rich, but from what I understand, her words were the words of the movement.

Katerina Gogou: "May 25th"

One morning I will open the door
and I will go out in the streets
as I did yesterday.
And I won't be thinking about anything other than
just one piece of the father
and one piece of the sea
-those two pieces they didn't deprive me of-
and the city. The city which they transformed into a rotting corpse.
And our friends that are no more.
One morning I will open the door
straight into the fire
and I will enter as I did yesterday
shouting "fascists!!"
constructing barricades and throwing rocks
with a red banner
held high, shining in the sunbeams.
I will open the door
and it's time to tell you
-not that I am afraid-
but, see, I want to tell you that I didn't make it in time
and that you have to learn
not to be going out in the streets without weapons as I did
-because I didn't make it in time-
because then you will disappear as I disappeared
"like that" "in the void"
cracked into little pieces made
of sea, childhood years
and red banners.
One morning I will open the door
and I will be gone carrying the dream of the revolution
within the infinite loneliness of the paper-made barricades
bearing the label -do not believe them!-
Translated by G.Chalkiadakis

I want us to talk together in a coffee house
one where the doors are open
where there's no seaonly unemployed men
silence and dust lit by sunlight
- the sunlight in the brandy -
and the dust and cigarettes in our lungs
and let's not take precautions today, my friend,over our health
and don't give advice
about how I'm tossing it back
and how I'm wasting myself
and let the make-up, snot and tears
on my face
Just look calmly
at my nails, my hair and the years
which are dirtyand me
I don't give a damn about all that
They only care about the Party, for Christsake!
why the Party hasn't been fixed all these years
and you a friend. A real friend
just like Kazantzidis sings it
and the brandy's shit
and the contractor hasn't shown
there's a room above the coffee house
for those on the run
I'll let it all spill out at some point
I do that when I'm drunk - just to throw you -
to see you without your underpants, to see what you'll do
but you, you're not like the others
you'll get up and dance a request
...your hands took a birch rod and thrashed me . . .
and in your cupped hands you'll hold my brain
with love and care
it's ready to explode into a thousand pieces. It hurts.
And when
they come to tell you
that this is not
the time
or place
for such things
draw your stiletto and slash.
The Koemtzis brothers were right.

Translated From Greek by G.Chalkiadakis.


  1. beauty. amazing.

  2. a great poet and a talented actress she made us laugh and she made us cry................why she left so soon only she could tell us we will me again on the other side