David Harsent, whose award-winning poetry collections include Legion and Night, now lends his voice to one of Greece’s most revered twentieth-century poets.
Yannis Ritsos wrote in the face of ill-health, personal tragedy, imprisonment and systematic persecution by hardline regimes. Louis Aragon called him ‘the greatest poet of our age’. Yet his chances of winning the Nobel Prize (despite being nominated nine times) were maimed by political bias. Ritsos was a prolific writer and translator of essays, novels and poems – instrumental in inspiring a cultural revolution in Greece in the 1960s.
In Secret is a selection of Ritsos’s lyric poems, translated and adapted by Harsent: tiny, pared-down psychodramas, with more than a hint of political subversion. Dreamlike and mysterious, yet rooted in the lives of ordinary people, they are even more potent for their brevity.
Come and join one of the most commanding figures in contemporary poetry, to rediscover the work of a great poet who has been unjustly neglected outside his homeland.