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Syndic Literary Journal

Syndic No.47 ~ Tasos Livaditis – Destiny

Destiny

Written by Tasos Livaditis

Translated from the Greek by Manolis (Emmanuel Aligizakis)

Narrated by Bill Wolak

Greece

 

We were walking and talking in the long starlit night

when suddenly you wanted to fix your hair.

You stopped and looked at yourself in the glass

of a display window of the funeral home.

We laughed.

 

However that pale, merciless reflection of the old

coffin still remains on your hair.

 

 

Tasos Livaditis (Anastasios Panteleimon Livaditis) was born in Athens April 20, 1922.  He studied Law at the University of Athens. In 1946, he made his first literary appearance with the publication of his poem The Hatzidimitri Song in Elefthera Grammata. In 1947, he coordinated the release of the literary magazine Themelio. The years 1948-1952 he was exiled in Moudros, Saint Stratis, and Makronisos along with all leftist artists and thinkers including, Yannis Ritsos, Aris Alexandrou, Manos Katrakis, and many others. In 1952 his poetry books Battle at the Edge of the Night and This Star Is for All of Us were released. Three years later, he was arrested by the police because of his book It Blows in the Crossroads of the World, but he was acquitted. His book Women with Equine Eyes in 1958 was a landmark in his literary career, and his later poetry became more introverted and existential. In 1961 he went on a country tour along with Mikis Theodorakis who presented his poems set in music. The same year he collaborated with Kosta Kotzias in the writing of the script and the poems for the Alekos Alexandrakis film Neighbourhood of Dreams, which was the turning point of Greek cinema but which was censored by the police. Livaditis worked with the newspaper Avgi from 1954-1980 with the exception of seven years during the dictatorship of the four colonels. He also worked for the magazine Art Review from1962-1966 where he published a few political reviews and critiques. During the dictatorship 1967-1974, he translated various Greek literary works for commercial magazines in order to earn his living.  In 1986 he published his book Violets for a Season which is considered his swan song. He died in Athens, October 30, 1988, of an abdominal aneurism. The rest of his hand written poems were published after his death in a book titled Autumn Handwritings. He was the recipient of the First Poetry Prize in the World Youth Poetry Festival of Warsaw 1953, the First Poetry Prize of the City of Athens, 1957; the second National Literary Prize for poetry 1976; and the First National Literary prize for poetry 1979.
Manolis (Emmanuel Aligizakis) is a Cretan-Canadian poet and author. He’s the most prolific writer-poet of the Greek diaspora with over 70 books published in more than a dozen different countries and in eleven different languages. He was recently appointed an honorary instructor and fellow of the International Arts Academy, and awarded a Master’s for the Arts in Literature. Born in the village of Kolibari on the island of Crete in 1947, he moved with his family at a young age to Thessaloniki and then to Athens, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Sciences from the Panteion University of Athens. He served in the armed forces for two years and emigrated to Vancouver in 1973, where he worked as an iron worker, train laborer, taxi driver, and stock broker, and studied English Literature at Simon Fraser University. He has written three novels and numerous collections of poetry. His articles, poems and short stories in Greek and English have appeared in various magazines and newspapers in Canada, United States, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Australia, Jordan, Serbia and Greece. His poetry has been translated in Romanian, Swedish, German, Hungarian, Ukrainian, French, Portuguese, Arabic, Turkish, Serbian, Russian, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, languages and has been published in book form or in magazines in various countries. He lives in White Rock, where he spends his time writing, gardening, traveling, and heading Libros Libertad, an unorthodox and independent publishing company which he founded in 2006 with the mission of publishing literary books. His book of translations entitled George Seferis-Collected Poems was shortlisted for the Greek National Literary Awards, the highest literary recognition in Greece. In September 2017 he was awarded the First Poetry Prize of the Mihai Eminescu International Poetry Festival in Craiova, Romania.

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