Yorgos Markópoulos in his early poetry expresses the contrast between life in a modern city, with its loneliness and alienation, its desolation and decline of human values, and the simplicity of traditional Greek life, the memory of which keeps haunting him. Markópoulos juxtaposes images of crowded shopping streets, working class districts and dockland areas with scenes of rural Greece, desperately seeking for authenticity in men, for the true passion that money cannot buy. He does this in a mood of stoic melancholy, yet in fresh, clear images, and with a mixture of delicate grace and gross banality.
His only collection from the 1980s is about love and a craving for beauty, both threatened by modern city life. His poems often stage an event or tell a story; over the years his poetry has gradually approached the outward appearance of prose.
Markópoulos was born in Messini in the southwestern Peloponnesos and studied political economy at the Higher Industry School in Piraeus. He lives in Athens and works for the government. Apart from poetry he writes poetry reviews; a compilation of his criticism has appeared in two volumes entitled Excursion to the Other Language (1991 and 1994). Markópoulos has published nine books of poetry.
[Yorgos Markópoulos took part in the Poetry International Festival Rotterdam 2000. This text was written on that occasion.]
Seventh Symphony (1968); Eight Plus One Easy Pieces and the Klepths of the Underworld (1973); Suburbian Sadness (1976); The Firework Makers (1979); Poems 1968-1976 (1980); History of the Stranger and the Sad Woman (1987); Natasa Pandí, or Play on the Word Stranger (1987); Poems (1968-1987) (1992); Don’t Cover the River (1998).