Kiki Dimoula
(Greece, 1931)   
 
 
 
Kiki  Dimoula

Kiki Dimoula’s mature poetry added an altogether new dimension to Modern Greek poetry. Having experienced the drama of the existential dissolution of post-war humanity and at the same time the dead ends in a world that has lost the gift of faith, her poetry mapped a world that’s both ‘homeless’ and insecure; a world in which the poet, in order to survive, had to plunge into the fundamental dynamics of the creative process and interfere decisively with their logic.

Her writing turned the grammar of the Greek language against the meaning of words, attempting, thus, to strengthen the emotive power of verse through astonishment and surprise. All her lines suggest the stability of a world that eyes can’t see, but which becomes whole through its imaginary reconstruction within the poem as an organic whole. This dimension of astonishment and surprise has become an active emotive factor in contemporary Greek poetry.

Dimoula’s poetry treats the themes of absence and oblivion as in a kaleidoscope, where colours and shapes dissolve and mix in order to be reconstructed into a hidden harmony and order.

Her poetry turns fluidity into a transubstantiating process: the universe becomes world once again, agony becomes longing, absence appears as time redemption. The poet’s language breaks through habits and negates the certitudes of a romantic tradition which lacks to see lost time as a continuous and active presence. Through her lines, personal time is born anew and is accomplished for ever as collective experience and prismatic image. Her poetry, through the siftings of Heracleitus, presents the best world of a personal ontology and establishes it as sensetional material and aesthetic phenomenon.

For Dimoula, silence, migration, and minimalisation enter language in order to dissolve the coherence of a logic that is unable to decipher their message. In them, the poet discovers existential dimensions that err in experience but which the brain, darkened as it is from rationalistic dizziness, refuses to accept them. This is precisely the purpose of Dimoula’s poetry: to create the space for the realisation of the best world. Every one of her poems locates and records dimensions of this expected multidimensional and orderly world.

It is for this reason that each of her poems undermines the dominance of silence, each word abolishes the power of obscurity and darkness. The poet wishes to shed light on those mobilizing forces of the psyche – not the Freudian subconscious of repressed desires, but the area of the id, the dark Persephone which belongs to each of the mortals and reigns within our personal Hades: a personal spring, a way to multifariousness. Hence, each of Dimoula’s poems is a Homeric death ritual, a recalling of the dead through the submission of the absent sense they left behind; and each one submission gives essence to her lines, moulds essence and energy, body, language and human warmth.

For Dimoula, everything lives on a multi-leveled simultaneity, within memory time where there is no distinction between moments and everything is identified absolutely and is freed to salvation through the awe of memory. Because this initial emotion dominates in her work: awe at loss and dissolution, at time and distance, awe at the power of language that resurrects and replaces wholly all those things that have disappeared and have become forgotten.

In short, Dimoula’s poetry illustrates the re-establishment of symmetrical analogies between memory and reality, between humans and their space; finally, it sees the possibility of transubstantiation out of decay, the endurance granted to chaos and the confusion of history by the power of language.
Vrasidas Karalis, 2001
Senior lecturer
University of Sidney

Poems
Version of creation
A kind of blues
Unexpectations
Passe-partout
Thieves in mind
A minute´s licence
Cartoon
The alibi
Easter in the oven
The feast of Lazarus

©

Publications:

Pitch Dark, 1956 (1st ed.) Athens, Stigmi, 1990 (2nd ed.) 42 pgs. ISBN 960-269-000-3
In Absentia, 1958 (1st ed.) Athens, Stigmi, 1990 (2nd ed.) 34 pgs. ISBN 960-269-001-3
On the Traces, 1963 (1st ed.) Athens, Stigmi, 1994 (2nd ed.) 1994, 49 pgs.
The Bit of the World, 1971 (1st ed.) Athens, Nefeli, 1983 (2nd ed.) 103pgs. ISBN: 960-269-003-8
My Last Body, Athens Kimena, 1981, Stigmi, 1989 97 pgs. ISBN: 960-296-01-9
Salute you Never. Athens, Stigmi, 1988, 89 pgs. ISBN: 960-269-143-3
Lethe’s Adolescence,, Athens, Stigmi, 1994. 116 pgs. ISBN: 960-269-012-7
Poetry(collected poems edition) Athens, Ikaros, 1998, 494 pgs. ISBN: 960-7721-36-5
One Minute Together, Athens, Ikaros, 1998, 66 pgs. ISBN: 960-7721-37-3
Distancing Sound, Athens, Ikaros, 2001, 84 pgs. ISBN: 960-7721-66-7


Translated works

In English:
Lethe’s Adolescence. Translated by David Connoly, Minessota, A Nostos Book – Theofanis Stavrou 1996. 84 pgs. ISBN 0-932963-08-0

In Swedish:
Glomskans Pubertet. Translated by Ingemar Rhedin Stockholm, Axion Editions, 1997. 185 pgs. ISBN 960-259-143-3 (bilingual edition)
Fren Mina Run. Translated by Hekan Edgren, Ellestroms-Lund, 1977. 92 pgs. ISSN 02844-6705 and ISBN 91-86489-67-4
Var hälsad aldrig. Translated by Ingemar Rhedin, Stockholm, Axion edition, 2002, 227 pgs. ISBN 91-973556-0-7 (Bilingual Edition)
Var hälsad aldrig. Second revised edition. Translated by Ingemar Rhedin, Stockholm, Axion edition, 2004, 229 pgs. ISBN 91-973556-1-5 (Bilingual Edition)
På spåren. Translated by Ingemar Rhedin, Stockholm, Axion edition, 2004, 95 pgs. ISBN 91-973556-2-3 (Bilingual Edition)

In French:
Je te Salue Jamais. Translated by Michel Volkovitch, Paris, Desmos Cahiers Grecs, 1992. 105 pgs. ISBN 2-910965-11-2 (bilingual edition)
Du peu du monde et autres poemes. Translated by Martine Plateau-Zycounas Editions Orphee/La Difference, 1995. 119 pgs. ISBN: 2-7291-1072-2 and ISSN 0-993-8672
Anthologie de Kiki Dimoula. Translated by Eurydice Trichon-Milsani, Harmattan, 2007. 166 pgs. ISBN 978-2-296-04768-6

In Spanish:
31 Poemas. Translated by Nina Anghelidis and Carlos Spinedi, Nuevohacer Argentina, 1998. 84 pgs. ISBN 950-694-554-3

In German:
Eine Minute Zysammen. Translated by Evangelia Karamountzou, Axel Dielman – Verlag, Frankfurt, 2001, 31 pgs. ISBN 3-933974-07-0

In Italian:
L’ Adolescenza Dell’ Oblio. Translated by Paola Maria Minucci. Milano, Crocetti Editore, 2000. 179 pgs. ISBN 88-8306-022-9 (bilingual edition)

More about Kiki Dimoula’s poetry

Fruit of lyrical melancholy, by Pandelis Boucalas
The art of the fugue and loss a stepping stone, by Yiorgos Yottis

 



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