Friday, May 1, 2009

100th Anniversary of the birth of Yannis Ritsos

A double smile had come to seal this story; I don't know if the story will be continued, but I do know that life itself will continue its stories; and maybe some day, Ariostos the Observant will be able to cross the borders of each and every country, by showing a rose for his passport picked from his own humble garden or from the rose-garden of Lidice: the Rose Garden of Worldwide Friendship. And maybe some day, through myriads of struggles and vigils and excavations inside as well as outside us, inside history and inside the future, we will arrive at the Land of Smiles, out there beyond race and religion and tradition and language, where Man will recognize Man as his brother, from the same smile full of self-knowledge, and all men will exchange gazes and feelings of a universally human creative offering of thanks.

---Yannis Ritsos

from Sealed with a Smile; Book Seven of Ritsos' great nine-part pseudo-autobiography Iconostasis of Anonymous Saints (Translated by Amy Mims and published by Kedros in three volumes)

note: Amy Mims deserves a place among the Anonymous Saints for her work. It's well worth anyone's effort to order these books from Greece, but it would be even better if they were distributed in the United States, or published here as well---perhaps someday. S.K.

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