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Absurd Athlete by Yannis Kondos

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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

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