Buy new:
$26.95
& FREE Returns
Return this item for free
  • Free returns are available for the shipping address you chose. You can return the item for any reason in new and unused condition: no shipping charges
  • Learn more about free returns.
How to return the item?
FREE delivery Wednesday, October 27. Order within 2 hrs 52 mins
In Stock.
As an alternative, the Kindle eBook is available now and can be read on any device with the free Kindle app.
$$26.95 () Includes selected options. Includes initial monthly payment and selected options. Details
Price
Subtotal
$$26.95
Subtotal
Initial payment breakdown
Shipping cost, delivery date, and order total (including tax) shown at checkout.
Your transaction is secure
We work hard to protect your security and privacy. Our payment security system encrypts your information during transmission. We don’t share your credit card details with third-party sellers, and we don’t sell your information to others. Learn more
Ships from
Amazon.com
Sold by
Amazon.com
Ships from
Amazon.com
Sold by
Amazon.com
Return policy: Returnable until Jan 31, 2022
For the 2021 holiday season, returnable items purchased between October 1 and December 31 can be returned until January 31, 2022
Yannis Ritsos – Poems has been added to your Cart
1-Click ordering is not available for this item.
<Embed>
Other Sellers on Amazon
$31.90
& FREE Shipping
Sold by: californiabooks
Sold by: californiabooks
(7413 ratings)
91% positive over last 12 months
In Stock.
Shipping rates and Return policy
Loading your book clubs
There was a problem loading your book clubs. Please try again.
Not in a club? Learn more
Amazon book clubs early access

Join or create book clubs

Choose books together

Track your books
Bring your club to Amazon Book Clubs, start a new book club and invite your friends to join, or find a club that’s right for you for free.

Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Learn more

Read instantly on your browser with Kindle Cloud Reader.

Using your mobile phone camera - scan the code below and download the Kindle app.

QR code to download the Kindle App

Enter your mobile phone or email address

Processing your request...

By pressing "Send link," you agree to Amazon's Conditions of Use.

You consent to receive an automated text message from or on behalf of Amazon about the Kindle App at your mobile number above. Consent is not a condition of any purchase. Message & data rates may apply.

Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

Yannis Ritsos – Poems Paperback – November 4, 2018

4.8 out of 5 stars 10 ratings

Price
New from Used from
Kindle
Paperback
$26.95
$26.95 $26.95

Enhance your purchase


"The Tuscan Child" by Rhys Bowen
From New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Rhys Bowen comes a haunting novel about a woman who braves her father’s hidden past to discover his secrets… | Learn more

Editorial Reviews

Review

One can certainly appreciate Ritso's poetry in terms of the social and cultural referents that weave in and out of his work. But that I fear would display a shallow sense of the poetic landscape he occupied so fully in time and space, and would ultimately reduce the value of his work to one of compensation and mastery. Instead I would focus my attention on the imaginal exploration he conducted, and the poetic voice he adopted which predisposed him to transformative yearnings, and an almost promethean moral burden to rescue life from the regressive miasma thwarting its potential. I doubt very much if Ritsos believed even for an instant that the archaic struggle of man against the forces that subdue him would end in freedom from illusory attachments and entanglements. On the contrary, what he skillfully presents in his work are mediating symbols, incarnating out of the depths of his awareness diligently crafting a literary isthmus to the heart of his personal truth. Ritsos's life, wrought with imposed detentions, health limitations, and personal tragedies, bears witness to this attitude that paradoxically, is best understood as something yet to be experienced... a future homecoming of sorts. His is the poetry of waiting, and yearning, and finally projecting the heroic Eros of the Greek psyche: the dominant imperative of an unfettered existence at the zero point of man's subjectivity. Such an assertion I'm sure issued out of the odyssey of his life, a life sustained not only by the ancestral hiss of myth and political rationalism, but also by the differentiating activity of consciousness which works, collectively at least, in favour of the soul that still must survive its harness. Indeed, his poems lack the compliance of subjugation and the often wounded indulgence of a narcissistic persona. What they do exhibit however, is the very authentic human endeavour of striving, reaching... imagining, and somehow, against all odds, assimilating the dissonance of an encountered self in the midst of upheaval... and in what he had to intuit as a metaphoric fall from grace despite his religious denouncements. This desire for a unitary reality is the value I see, feel, and admire in his work. Ritsos was a poet who lived in chaotic but exciting times, and like Odysseus, was fated by the gods to take the scenic way home. I am awed by the integrating expanse of his gaze and by the process of his mind that was able to distinguish between reality and its representation... and also... also by the sense-memory in things he projected things lost but still things yet to be gained. He was a poet who survived the enchantment of rival impulses, as well as a poet who celebrated the sacred return of the imagination out of the deep ocean that contained him. --Ilya Tourtidis

In an age devoid of political radicalism in poetry, a White Rock translator takes a leap of fervour

Unsuccessfully nominated nine times for the Nobel Prize for Literature, Greek poet Yannis Ritsos (1909-1990) is little-known in North America.

Manolis Aligizakis of White Rock hopes to change that. From among Ritsos' 46 volumes of poetry, Cretan-born Manolis (his pen name excludes the surname Aligizakis) has translated fifteen of the poet's books for an unusually hefty volume, Yannis Ritsos–Poems (Libros Libertad $34), presenting a panorama of Ritsos' work from the mid 1930s to the 1980s.

Manolis first encountered Ritsos' inspiring words as a young man in Greece, in 1958, when composer Mikis Theodorakis–of Zorba the Greek fame–set to music some of Ritsos' verses from Epitaphios–a work that had been burned by Greece's right-wing government at the Acropolis in 1936. "I was moved in an unprecedented way by the songs," says Manolis. "They were like a soothing caress to my young and rebellious soul at a time when the Cold War was causing deep divisions in Greece and the recent civil war had seen our country reduced to ruins."

Yannis Ritsos was an ardent nationalist who most notably fought with the Greek resistance during the Second World War. His 117 books, poetry, novels and plays, are suffused with communist ideals. When Ritsos received the Lenin Peace Prize in 1975, he declared, "this prize is more important for me than the Nobel."

The early deaths of Ritsos' mother and his eldest brother from tuberculosis marked him deeply, as did his father's commitment to a mental asylum, which led to the economic ruin of his once wealthy family. Ritsos himself was in a sanitorium for tuberculosis from 1927 to 1931.

In 1936, Ritsos' Epitaphios was burned at the foot of the Acropolis in Athens on orders from the right-wing dictatorship of General Ioannis Metaxas. Epitaphios refers to the classic funeral oration for soldiers killed in war that was an integral part of the Athenian burial law, and calls for national unity in a time of crisis.

From 1947 to 1952, Ritsos was jailed for his political activities. Under the military junta that ruled Greece from 1967 to 1974, he was interned on the Greek islands of Yaros, Leros and Samos before being moved to Athens and placed under house arrest. Through it all he kept writing. And writing. It wasn't uncommon for Ritsos to write 15 or 20 poems in one sitting.

Manolis says he has tried to remain as close as possible to the original Greek text, in order to preserve the linguistic charm of Ritsos' style. Sentences are restructured only when it seemed that the reader would have difficulty grasping the poet's true meaning.

"In Greek, the writer has a lot more freedom in ordering a sentence than one would in English, where the sequence of words is somewhat more strict.

"The books in the anthology are included whole, not selected poems from each. We had only a certain number of his books available and I felt it would be awkward to separate them satisfactorily."

Most of the poems in Yannis Ritsos–Poems are appearing in English translation for the first time in North America.

"In choosing the materials, I noticed a transformation from his early days, when he was just the unknown defender of a cause, up to the period during his middle years, when he finds a variety of admirers from around the world."

--Alan Twigg (BC BookWorld)

Ritsos' later work, according to Manolis, reveals a mature poet, more laconic and precise, more careful with his words. "Then, near the end of Ritsos' creative life, the poems reveal his growing cynicism and utter disillusionment with the human condition, after his world had collapsed around him several times... the human pettiness that drives some human lives shadows him with a deep disappointment that he appears to take with him to his grave."

The majority of lives don't have happy endings. Ritsos' re-publication as a poet in Canadian English represents a rebirth of sorts.

The tradition of overtly political poetry has seemingly vanished in Canada. If only we cared enough about poetry in Canada to burn it.

--Alan Twigg (BC BookWorld)

About the Author

Yannis Ritsos was born in Monemvassia (Greece), on May 1st, 1909 as cadet of a noble family of landowners. His youth is marked by devastations in his family: economic ruin, precocious death of the mother and the eldest brother, internment of the father suffering of mental unrests. He spends four years (1927-1931) in a sanatorium to take care of his tuberculosis.

These tragic events mark him and obsess his œuvre. Readings decide him to become poet and revolutionary. Since 1931, he is close to the K.K.E., the Communist Party of Greece. He adheres to a working circle and publishes Tractor (1934), inspired of the futurism of Maïakovski, and Pyramids (1935), two works that achieve a balance still fragile between faith in the future, founded on the Communist ideal, and personal despair...

The poems of his last book, Late in the night (1987-1989), are filled with sadness and the conscience of losses, but the humbly poetic way by which Ritsos restores life and the world around him, preserves a gleam of hope in an ultimate start of creativeness.

However, the poet lives the reduction of his health and the downfall of his political ideals grievously. Internally broken, he dies in Athens, November 11, 1990.

Manolis was born in the small village Kolibari west of Chania on the Greek island of Crete in 1947. At a young age his family moved first to Thessaloniki and then to Athens where he was educated, achieving a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science at Panteion Supreme School of Athens. He served in the armed forces for two years, and emigrated to Vancouver in 1973, where he worked in several different jobs over the years.

He attended Simon Fraser University for a year, taking English Literature in a non-degree program. He has written three novels, a large number of collections of poetry, which are slowly appearing as published works, various articles and short stories in Greek as well as in English. After working as an iron worker, train labourer, taxi driver, and stock broker, he now lives in White Rock where he spends his time writing, gardening, and traveling.

Towards the end of 2006 he founded Libros Libertad, an unorthodox and independent publishing company in Surrey, BC, with the goal of publishing literary books.


Go ahead, give a gift card

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Libros Libertad (November 4, 2018)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 550 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1926763076
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1926763071
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.76 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 1.38 x 9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 10 ratings

Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5
10 global ratings
5 star
83%
4 star
17%
3 star 0% (0%) 0%
2 star 0% (0%) 0%
1 star 0% (0%) 0%
How are ratings calculated?

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on November 25, 2013
Verified Purchase
3 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United States on August 21, 2019
Verified Purchase
One person found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United States on June 16, 2011
9 people found this helpful
Report abuse

Top reviews from other countries

Georgios
5.0 out of 5 stars You will not be disappointed..
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 14, 2019
Verified Purchase
2 people found this helpful
Report abuse
eric tirado viegas
5.0 out of 5 stars Manolis o competente tradutor
Reviewed in Brazil on October 9, 2016
Verified Purchase