Titos Patrikios

Titos Patrikios

Titos Patrikios was born in Athens in 1928. He studied Law in the University of Athens and later sociology and philosophy in Paris, at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes and at the Sorbonne. He was active in the resistance movement against the German Occupation, but during the years of military dictatorship following the Greek Civil War he was “displaced” within the borders of his own country, to detention camps on the islands of Makronissos and Ai-Stratis, and later exiled outright to Paris and Rome, once from 1959-1964 and again from 1967-1975.

He’s considered one of the most important poets of the after the Second World War group of poets. His first poetry book, Dirt Road, 1952, was very well received as positive reviews were written for it and his second book Apprenticeship, 1963, was also recognized placing him to the top of his contemporaries.

Titos Patrikios isn’t only a poet. He served the Modern Greek Letters in various ways, as an editor and contributor to the literary magazine Art Review, as a translator and an essayist. He was also involved in important political issues which placed him on the top of the most courageous and philosophical thinkers of his times. Patrikios was fascinated by the concept of a better and more just society a dream he defended with courage and persistence.

He has represented Greece in many international literary events: poetry forums, festivals, and he was invited by foreign Universities where he spoke not only for his work but also for various other subjects. His poetry has been translated in many European languages especially in Italian and has been included in many Poetry Anthologies.

After he received Greece’s National Prize for Literature in 1994 Kedros Publishers produced his collected poems in four tomes which cover all his works up to 2002. In 2007 he published his New Path and in 2008 a collection of Erotic poems titled, Lustful Desire.


Neo-Hellene Poets – An anthology by Manolis Aligizakis
Poems below from:

Neo-Hellene Poets – An Anthology of
Modern Greek Poetry 1750-2018

An anthology of poets by Manolis Aligizakis
paperback 6/9 (& Kindle Edition)
817 pages



What would happen to us
if nothingness wasn’t reborn?
How could we mark the periphery
of our ever changing self
how could we have invented touch
that using it we could feel the others
how could we fill
our emptying world?
What could have happened to us
without the rebirth of nothingness
without the survival of the void?
In the void we construct exquisite labyrinths
like Daedalus constructed his
as if to liberate from its depths
the invisible Minotaur

© English translation: Manolis Aligizakis


Lions had disappeared by then
none was around over Greece
not even a hunted one, alone
hiding somewhere in Peloponnese
not bothering anybody anymore
till even that was killed by Hercules.
Yet the memory of lions
never stopped scaring people
images of lions incised on crests
and shields frightened people
likeness of their image on cenotaphs
their glyphs on the stony top of archways.
Our unbearable past always daunts
as the narrating of events does
and the writing on the stony top
of the gateway we pass daily.

© English translation: Manolis Aligizakis


Verses that cry out
verses that stand up like bayonets
against the establishment
and among their few steps
they put together or dissolve the revolution
useless, phoney, boastful verses
since no verse topples the establishment these days
no verse motivates the masses.
What masses? Between us, really,
who thinks of masses these days?
At the most a personal relief if not a recognition —
for this I don’t write anymore
to offer guns made of paper
weapons made of words talkative and hollow.
I shall only raise the edge of truth
to shed some light onto our counterfeit lives.
Long as I last, long as I am able.

© English translation: Manolis Aligizakis


Speechless he finally noticed it:
impossible to believe that he accomplished it —
after a thousand efforts
he had finally reached the summit.
He had pushed the rock for eons
step by step towards the top
or went after it when it slipped off him
and he ran to reach it and start his push again.
He had never reached the top
until now that he was at the top
with the motionless rock next to him.
He tried to move it, he made sure
the rock was stable; he took a breath
and turned to enjoy the immense view;
then he suddenly stopped —
if he finished his martyrdom
the myth would vanish too
the various explanations of his task would stop
no one would ever talk of Sisyphus again.
With all his might he pushed the rock
made sure it would start rolling towards the bottom.

© English translation: Manolis Aligizakis


He wanted to solve riddles
to shed light in darkness
where everyone settled
though it burdened them.
He didn’t feel afraid of all he saw
but from the refusal of the others to accept them.
Would he always be the exception?
He couldn’t endure loneliness
and to connect with his neighbors
he poked out his eyes
with the two forks.
By feeling them he still recognized things
no one else wanted to see.

© English translation: Manolis Aligizakis

Published with the permission of Titos Patrikios & Manolis Aligizakis