1972, Yiannis Ritsos, ELENI, Frontpiece Vaso Katraki, First Edition


(Even from afar the decay could be seen—washed walls, falling down; faded shutters; balcony railings rusted. A curtain fluttered outside the upper story window, yellowed, ragged at the bottom. When he approached,—always hesitant,—the same abandonment in the garden: broken plants, fleshy leaves, branched trees; the rare flowers choked in nettles; the waterless fountains, moldy; the fine statues lichen. A lizard was motionless between the bosom of a young Venus, warmed by its last rays solstice. How many years ago. He was very young then;—twenty-two? twenty-three? And she? You could never know,—such was the rising light,—blinding you; piercing you;—you no longer knew what it was, if it was , if you were. He rang the doorbell. He heard the ringing outside, very lonely, in a familiar space, now arranged unknown, with unknown ramifications, in dark colors. They were late opening. Someone leaned out of the upper window. It wasn’t her. A maid, — very young. He laughed. He left through the window. They were late again. Later steps on the middle staircase. They unlocked the door. It went up. A smell of dust, rotten fruit, dry soap, urine. From here. Bedroom. Closet. Metal mirror. Two shabby carved armchairs. Tin table with coffee cups and ashtray. And her? No, no, — it is not possible. Old woman — old woman — a hundred, two years old. Five more years ago — No, no. The sheet hole. There, unsullied; sitting on the bed; hunched over. Only her eyes — even bigger, domineering, piercing, empty).

SKU: MGL0066 Category:


Γιάννης Ρίτσος



Yiannis Ritsos



Published by Kedros in Athens in 1972

Front Piece and Artwork by Greek Artist Vaso Katraki

Original Paper Binding

First edition

Pages 40+4


Yiannis Ritsos (Greek: Γιάννης Ρίτσος; 1909 – 1990) was a Greek poet and communist and an active member of the Greek Resistance during World War II. While he disliked being regarded as a political poet, he has been called “the great poet of the Greek left”.

Vaso Katraki (1914 – 1988) was a Greek painter and engraver. She was known for her passionate depictions of the sufferings of the Greek people during and after World War II. In 1967 she was exiled to a barren island by the military junta on the day it took power. She started with wood engraving, then developed an original and very unusual technique of sandstone engraving.



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