Vassilis Rouvalis

Vassilis Rouvalis

Vassilis Rouvalis is a Greek poet, journalist and translator, born in Athens (1969). While still a student of Byzantine Philology at the University of Crete, he got acquainted with the works of the Cretan Renaissance, which marked him deeply with their creative potential. He is the author of three poetry books; his short stories have appeared in various volumes while his articles, translations of Italian poetry and literary criticism can be found in literary journals, major newspapers and various editions. In 2006 he launched the e-zine poema which focuses on poetry, essays and art. He is currently the director of (.poema..) editions. He works as an organizer and advisor for Book Clubs Network all over Greece and Cyprus, in contribution with the National Book Centre of Greece.



Please visit Vassilis Rouvalis’ wonderful website poema, blog page and moreover a complete CV at Wikipedia.

(Λόγος πρώτος – First word)

You rise like my suns

The mother’s milk and touch
the hollowed hill
the red rocks
the breaths the logic

The train and the whistling
the body’s scars
the Last Suppers
the melodist
          the female archer
                    their story’s moral

You sleep in my veins
I wake on your brow

A graft onto dawn
the forgotten sonatas
the caress after and the kiss before
the map of notional destinations

A little soil for the rain
the waiting the present self
in four strophes

The expectation suffices
the haematite in the marble
the Arab noose on the equine neck

Then the unsmiling conch
the mysterious infinite
the root’s bitterness
the serpentine eyes

Here fades the wind –
the cloak for sinners
the nipples the prickly ends
the curses and the pleasures
the denial
before you speak affirmatively

The invisible fleet on the fringes
the clamour and the viola da gamba
the eternal promises
the fairytale for the days and the pomegranates
the untouched vein of night

The sour taste
the dry bread
the water from the same glass
the audacity of the defeated
their truth and their memory

Here and there

a crumpled photograph

a child’s fear

a bandoneon
To take away the silence.

[Extract from Φωνές / Voices, forecoming to Kedros, 2010, © translation by David Connolly]

(Από τον Ακράγαντα – From Agrigento)

Only the consequenses were late appearing.
Never again will I be who I was
Only Santa Maria remains
with the dusty child
the faded ochre on the walls
the feeling
that all is cracked that I so loved.
The darkness
lessens when I consider loneliness
the journey’s end.
Everything is immersed
In the Sicilian horizon’s truth.
With the river’s ancient bed
the night’s mendacities
the effort to feign the familiar.

(Από το Πέρα – From Pera)

I return with kisses
and monastery bells.
I remember you, Basilia
with your loose blond hair
affectionately to Golden Horn.
I’ll never stop losing
hazy horizon
to breathe your breath.
The streets are still steaming. Nothing remains
for me to mourn.

(Από τη Φανερωμένη – From Faneromeni)

I am standing on the terrace hillside as before.
The same imploring
between the isle of Venetico
and so many questions.
“Hold tight, hold tight!
Lower the mainsail, and luff-a-lee”…
The blue’s shower
Myths in the olive trees.
A bowlike sea.
And St. Elias screening
the light
with his hands.

[3 poems from Νότος / South, Kedros 2004, © translation by Giannis Goumas]


Published with the permission of Vassilis Rouvalis