The poet Titos Patrikios at 93 years of age certainly can feel content with his many years in poetry from 1940ies to today an eighty year long career of artistic activity; his voluminous work has endured time, has been read and re-read, has received positive comments and reviews as well as criticisms. He has never shied away from showing up anywhere he’s been invited, indeed he has become an icon in the Athens poetic circles and the social dimension of his poetry has been, and still is, a point of reference for both its political overtones, its cultural foundation but also its technical classification as poetry that focuses both on the simple daily affairs of man and the mystical aspects of life that attracts everyone’s attention.
His works much like Yannis Ritsos’ started as a tool of promoting and defending the cause of the left, yet besides the commonly militarized poetry of a lot of other poets of his era, he managed to maintain a balance between that cause of the left and the need to express the beliefs, wishes, expectations and affirmations of daily life of the people who lived under the most adverse circumstances, much like himself, especially during his first poetic steps in the literary arena, the decades of the 40ies, 50ies. The poet, Titos Patrikios, has remained true to his convictions although he never resorted to hard partisanship, and has become more dialectical, more social, more opposing in his personal way, and pressing with all his might for political change, for humanism, for logical solutions to the contemporary problems of society. During the years of dictatorship, 1967-1973, the poet wrote feverishly although his work is considered as his weakest. He travelled to the four corners of Europe, self-exiled, in Rome, Paris, Berlin, he battled for the fall of the junta and the liberation of his motherland; yet he saw things from a distance and in a sense in the realm of security, in contrast to his years in the inferno of Makronisos, where he was exiled about fifteen years earlier. The dictatorship of 1967-1974, despite its great effect in the disintegration of the country's communist movement, didn’t inspire the poet as it should, and left him with a sense of totalitarianism. The years following the fall of the dictators the poet Titos Patrikios wrote and published seven collections of poetry and he kept on writing to this day, poetry of various themes and moods that relate to principles of human relationships; he has become more social, more normal, subdued poet opposite the action poet we knew up to now, he still describes himself politically, though in the broadest sense of the word and he writes from where he is, inside or outside Greece: in two words without localizing himself. He writes without letting go of the glorious years, without betraying his ideals, without confronting the past something that many former communists and now almost nationalists have done. It is indeed joy and a blessing to live at the same time along with Titos Patrikios and write a few words about the man. I was truly blessed to meet him last year; I consider it a blessing because this particular poet, without dismissing a single moment of his actions, irrelevant of how small of great, without rejecting anything and anyone, has taught me that through poetry one can literally make his clear point that, after triumphant or painful events, we all must act and behave on the basis of our moral values, both towards others and towards ourselves. Concluding and seeing this man’s life and works, I realize with certainty that we belong to one another, that we shall never be alone with ourselves, but on the contrary we shall live a societal life and many will be found who will follow in the footsteps of Patrikios both in his poetic path as well as in his incomparable ethos. Christos Papageorgiou, author, literary critic.