Yiorgos Christodoulides

Yiorgos Christodoulides

Yiorgos Christodoulides was born in Moscow in 1968, raised in Larnaka, Cyprus. Holder of an MA in Journalism (Lomonosov University, Moscow). He works as a journalist in Nicosia.

His debut work Ένια [Enia] (Ateleia, Nicosia, 1996) was awarded the State Prize for young writers. His second, Ονειροτριβείον [Dream-Mill] (Gavrielides, Athens, 2001) received the State Prize for poetry. Εγχειρίδιο Καλλιεργητή [Grower’s Manual] came out in Athens (Govosti, 2004). His fourth collection Το Απραγματοποίητο [“The Undone”] was published by Gavrielides, Athens in 2010 (currently shortlisted for the 2010 State Prize for Poetry]. His fifth collection Δρόμος μεταξύ Ουρανού και Γης [Road between Heaven and Earth], was published by Farfoulas, Athens, 2013 and was shortlisted for the 2013 State Prize for Poetry.

Part of his work has been translated into English, German, French, Bulgarian, Spanish, Portuguese, Lithuanian, Latvian, Turkish etc and appeared in Cypriot, Greek and international literary reviews.

In June 2010, a short selection of Christodoulides’ poems were published in Berlin, Germany.

In December 2011, more than 150 poems spanning the last fifteen years of Christodoulides’ work were translated into Bulgarian (Sofia, 2011) and put together in a book named after his collection Ονειροτριβείον [Dream-Mill].

 
Main International Event Participation:

  • Festival Voix Vives de méditerranée en méditerranée (2013): Represented Cyprus, selected poems by Christodoulides were recited in French translation.
  • Crossing Borders, Connecting Cultures (Stockholm, 2010): Christodoulides was among ten Cypriot artists representing the different cultures of the island (Greek, Turkish, Armenian, Maronite and Latin) in a fascinating encounter with Scandinavian poetry on stage.
  • Poesiefestival Berlin 2010: An audio production of Christodoulides’ selected poems in Greek, also rendered into German, can be reached at: http://lyrikline.org
  • Poetry Symposium, University of Patras (Patras, Greece, 2008): Cyprus representative.
  • “Kleine Sprachen, Grosse Literaturen” Forum (Leipzig, 2006): Cyprus representative.
  • The Gerard Manley Hopkins Society of Poetry (Kildare, Ireland 2005): Invited by famous Irish poet Desmond Eagan to recite part of his work translated into English.
  • World Biennial of Poetry (Liège 2003): Selected poems by Christodoulides were recited in French translation. For part of his work in French, please visit: www.volkovitch.com (Poésie Amnesty, 6 poètes)
  • Literature Express Europa 2000: In the span of 45 days, more than 100 European litterateurs visited 20 cities in 10 different countries, participating in a series of poetry events. Christodoulides’ poem “Violin cases” was set to music and dramatized in Paris.

 
Matinal image

Morning reveals onto the day’s canvas
an image of frozen immigrants.
Standing at the bus stop
they are waiting for an imaginary bus
they need it to take them beyond predetermined routes
they need it to take them to a land ancestral
away from employers with soiled nails
plump ladies ordering them about
old men melting away alone
they need it to take them
far away from the crumbling shed
next to the menacing river
and the weeds circling the broken door
the oxidized hinges that squeak
so to stop being afraid at night
they want
to return in time to see their mother
to smell their homeland once more.
My children will soon go out into the street
My children will go out into the street to play
Only they will see the immigrants
boarding the bus.

 
Myth 2

He closed his eyes and whistled.
Urged by an impulse born
in the bosom of complete and utter silence.
It was spring, then.
The surrounding forest smelled of fresh greenery –
A reservation, a refuge.

Wherever he reached with his hands,
He touched a life other than his own.

Then she descended from the moon.
She followed the traces of his long whistling
to come and fall asleep on his lips.

 
Fear

I am not afraid of death.
It’s the burning sun I’m afraid of.
August’s
heat, ghastly heat.
Of not lying
in a beach
not being kissed by the sea
 – I’m so afraid –
than buried deep down the earth
when God help me it’s so hot!

 
Singing

My body carries
the dust of the road you crossed.
My feet bear
the burden of your fatigue.
Long before you came to exist
my door stood waiting for you.

That unknown carpenter who crafted it – he was singing!

 
On the verge of a vague self-knowledge

Between Cyprus and Rhodes
I threw a cigarette bud;
It did not stir the stability
of the moonlit night.

A ship next to our ship
defined the night’s geometry.
But I longed for the waves to break
and wash up the fear of the deep;
the one that, when it penetrates the eye,
we say “It’s the salt”.

We loved our travels.
Leaving the demons
crash into the rock, into the walls
of this pathetic pillorying.
And the sirens were delightfully forlorn
without the least mood to seduce.

Aged, almost,
Using the “Classified”
to seek willing Odyssei
who wouldn’t necessarily leave them
for Ithaca.

 
Violin-cases

Instruments are but our need
to hear something else than our stupid voices.

Yet through the sounds of the violin
you come to grasp the meaning of silence
and death.

Violists should’ve been dwarfs;
When they’d died, we’d bury them in their violin-cases.

 
All poems on this post: © Yiorgos Christodoulides
Published with the permission of Yiorgos Christodoulides