The 25th Prague Writers’ Festival, which brings together prominent writers and thinkers from around the world, will address a particularly hot topic this year – fear : fear to know oneself, fear of occupation, fear… More
He was waiting.
Not to hear the arguments of experts
but to listen to
threatening, advancing sounds.
Sometime ago, he dismissed his dependence
ignoring the darts of criticism.
Just observing the others,
the inferior ones, tied to the Forum.
No more attempts to explain what occurs,
but that imperceptible play of the eyelids,
the wonder inset in the corner of the eye
or perhaps a sardonic quivering of the lips.
Now, the commonness of a normal life
devoid of drama.
You expected to dedicate yourself to action,
to organize yourself and some others
realizing, of course, that prudence and maturity,
when they work together, are helpful.
You were expecting.
Action was stolen by those who had played and won.
Your passion for organizing, mockingly winked at you,
since it required a previous vigor.
As for prudence, it had finished as a moth eaten mould.
Maturity seemed up in the air, impossible to reach.
The previous impeaches the present.
Expectation—as you know very well—
poses as a funeral.
In praise of an ambiguous mood | Pericles’ Epitaph
An endless analysis doesn’t seem to help,
nor does the search for historical elements.
Today the “zero participating”
tend to dominate more and more.
The decay or misunderstanding of
principles and values
has become the rule.
They geometrically increase everywhere
keeping their distance, consciously
or even ostensibly
loathing alien idols
and the sparkle of falling stars.
Proving they are not few–
those who justify non-participation.
So we return to the text:
“The one not participating in public affairs
is not just inert…”
Once more you try to reach a conclusion.
Even then it is possible that
Few shared the same belief.
Humans are always exactly the same.
“… we consider him vile”
feels like stabbing in the chest.
Taste of the End
When the narration ends
some bitter taste always remains on the palate
for what was left unsaid
through negligence or ignorance.
Precisely what inflates sorrow,
since the theoretical discussion
about human limits
has been tested again.
Translated from the Greek by Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke | Michael March
Constantine Kokossis was born in 1951 in Athens, Greece. After completing his studies, he joined the Foreign Service (1976-2012). He was posted to Turkey, Belgium, Cyprus, USA, Ethiopia, Albania and the Czech Republic. He is the author of the novels: The Emergence of the West (Alexandria, 2004); Diversion (Iolkos, 2010); Achilles’ Long Journey (Alexandria, 2010) which was translated into Czech (Achileas, Achil, nebo…nic), edited by “Vydava-Telstvi Rula, 2011); and Twelve Short Poems for Faint-Hearted Times. In 2015, Constantine Kokossis received the Spiros Vergos Prize for Freedom of Expression awarded by the Prague Writers’ Festival.
Author: Constantine Kokossis
“Love and Hate” sounds like a covert operation.
Fortunately, it’s the Festival’s theme—attached to events—in the form of readings and conversations—open to the public at the Senate—free for all. Continue reading ““How hot was Cold war?” – Conversation”
Constantine Kokossis in conversation with Andreas Patenidis
Andreas Patenidis: You are a writer but also the Greek ambassador to the Czech Republic. You have lived in various countries, e.g. Cyprus, Turkey, and the USA. Continue reading “Preserving Disappearing Stories”