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A review of Poems (1945-1971) from George Kalamaras in Rain Taxi


Excerpts from the review by George Kalamaras
Rain Taxi, Vol. 12, No. 1 – Spring 2007


One of the most important English translations of international poetry in recent years.

To say that Emmerich’s translation is significant and timely is an understatement, particularly in our own time of ‘continuous’ war.

Color functions as both beacon and wound for Sachtouris, a complex palette that foregrounds nuances of desperation while simultaneously offering a means of redemption: to gaze face-first into our own blood, into the color of our cultural darkness is an act of loving, albeit painful, attention.

Poems (1945-1971) is a remarkable collection from one of Greece’s most important poets. Its significance as cultural history is itself enough to recommend this book. It also serves as literary history, giving us another embodiment of Surrealism to help dispel to myth of a monolithic movement inherited from France. Sachtouris also helps transform the nature of the ‘political’ poem into something less topical and, rather, psychological—further evidence of the relevance of the project of Surrealism in our current time.


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