Tasos Livaditis (Anastasios Panteleimon Livaditis) was born in Athens in 1922, and had his first poem “The Hatzidimitri Song” published in Elefthera Grammata in 1946. His book Women with Equine Eyes was a landmark in his literary career and marked his turn into the introverted and existential poetry of his middle life. He worked for the magazine Art Review from 1962–1966 where he published political reviews and critiques. In 1986 he published Violets for a Season, which is considered his swan song. He died in Athens on October 30, 1988, and his remaining handwritten poems were published after his death in a book titled Autumn Handwritings. He was the recipient of the First Poetry Prize in the World Youth Poetry Festival of Warsaw in 1953, the First Poetry Prize of the City of Athens in 1957, the second National Literary Prize for Poetry in 1976, and the First National Literary Prize for Poetry in 1979.
by Tasos Livaditis
I, holding a lamp, was going down the stairs; I had
to discover who I was, what I accomplished in the past;
yet, the house was still standing although we had once
pushed the walls down to make room for the one who
crippled men played my fortune in a card game,
at the far end;Jesus of the drunks was passing each
night along the foggy street lamps and I followed
the killer wiping his footprints in the snow, since
by now I knew; the woman, when I tried to hug her
made a light gesture and went into her door
leaving me outside.
Oh Lord, please allow me to be dead and drunk
Only leave the stars which were friendly to me
even in the streets where they were shooting.
Copyright © 2022, Manolis Aligizakis (translator), Tasos Livaditis, Poems — Volume II, Libros Libertad