The Wild Boar Speaks: Collected Poetry of Tassos Denegris

The Wild Boar Speaks: Collected Poetry of Tassos Denegris

Translated by Philip Ramp

Price: £12.95

ISBN: 978-1-910323-44-1

135mmx210mm, paperback, 272pp

Tassos Denegris (1934–2009) was one of the most prominent poets of post-war Greece. He was born in Athens and studied cinema and social sciences at the University of Rome. One of the prime exponents of the Greek avant-garde, he published seven collections of poetry and translated into Greek work by, among others Borges, Cortazar and Octavio Paz. His own work has been translated into many languages, including French, Hungarian, Portuguese and Spanish. He was Fellow at the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa and frequently read his work abroad at universities and major festivals in Europe, India and Latin America, including The Cambridge Poetry Festival and Medellin.

Denegris’ pared-down poetry, spanning nearly half a century, offers what seem to be sharply defined snapshots, as apparently matter-of-fact as a newspaper correspondent’s report. Individual yet oddly impersonal, densely allusive yet particular, astringent yet gnomic, he is like a man on a highwire, for whom one slip will bring catastrophe, but whose balance never fails.

Of his own work, Tassos Denegris wrote, “In my poems I do not choose the characters in terms of a specific period since I regard history as a ceaselessly developing process. What most attracts me are the controversial elements of human acts and their often tragic consequences. Isolated from their historical context, these acquire a new dimension. In addition, there is the nature of the Logos itself and the sense of freedom it entails, the force that permits life to shape itself into particular forms.”