Monday, February 2, 2009

Yiannis Ritsos (The Other Side)

One of my favorite Greeks. I've met him once in Athens (happy day!) a few weeks before his death (sad day) .Somewhat he still rides in the shadow of Kostis Palamas, Giorgos Seferis, and Odysseus Elytis, but it's in his poems that I've discovered the real, ambiguous spirit of Greece. His presence is to be found on the islands, around Athens and certainly on the mysterious, dark & lonely (off season) small peninsula of Monemvassia. A real, complete website should be devoted to him! (I never found one) Picture comes from his "Selected Poems" © Efstathiadis Group and one of the five books I will take into my grave, so to speak...;)
Hear him reading the poem "Moonlight Sonata" (with Beethoven’s Sonata playing in the background) Many thanks to Ifigenia! Also, here's a nice little blog on Ritsos & Monemvasia.
Few people know that he also painted and when in exile he started painting on simple stones or pebbles. I think I've seen a book on this collection on "Painted Stones" (Great Idea!) but all I could find on the web so far was this picture on Flickr:

by logty
Thanks to Isabella (logty ) I know now that this exhibition was organized in the Benaki Museum
in Athens in 2005. Wow, I wish I had seen it! Luckily she's send me two more revealing pictures:
(click to enlarge)

(2B Continued)