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Absurd Athlete

Absurd Athlete

by Yannis Kondos

Bilingual English / Greek edition

Translated by David Connolly, with an introduction by David Constantine

Part of our Visible Poets series edited by Jean Boase-Beier

Shortlisted for the 2005 Corneliu M Popescu Prize for European Poetry Translation (September 2005)

The 'absurd athlete' is contemporary man

...running. Running with a headwind.
He skirts mountains, lakes cities. Difficulties
one after the other. Fires, wars, grumbling, families.
[...]
And he runs and runs, while his fellow athletes
have finished and carried off the prizes
and acclaim. Alone, he runs
time's cycle.
[...]
he smiles and thinks of escaping, of flying away.
But it's not possible, he's programmed
for that role. The role of the runner
with an unknown finish..."

Absurd Athlete, Yannis Kondos' tenth collection of poetry for which he was awarded the coveted State Prize for Poetry in 1998, is a beautifully balanced work - moving, funny, lyrical, ironic, painful - now made available to a wider readership in David Connolly's superb translation.

Parallel-text, Greek / English

...amplification of everyday reality ... tempered by contemporary experiences... This defiance of expectations is refreshing...

Poetry Salzburg Review no. 8, Autumn 2005

Witty and strangely odd, Kondos is at home with wry commentary...

Stride Magazine, September 2004

...a poet who derives strength from tradition to honestly interpret the world he lives in - he is a fine poet of urban angst.

Poetry Review Vol 95:2, Summer 2005

Well-woven poetry, Greek, Athenian; poetry born out of the minutiae of everyday life, artfully concealing life's anguish without denying its joy.

Ta Nea

One of the strongest and most resilient voices of his generation; a poet representative of the big city, where tensions are concentrated and where the sparks of human relations are kindled, he focuses on the pressure, the isolation, the anxiety and the alienation that afflict society and devour its living fabric.

The Sunday Vima

Paperback
112 pages

ISBN 1-900072-76-9
Published December 2003