Its power comes from the way it blends the diaristic with the poetic … There is no pity in the book, nor resignation, despite the circumstance. That clarity … has to do with giving witness, with the idea of poetry as testimony. Again and again, Ritsos records the smallest moments, as if were he to leave out a single detail of his incarceration, the whole experience might disappear. This is what poetry can do: preserve the moments that would otherwise be forgotten, and in so doing, recreate the world.
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