January 16, 2022

Are poets still around?

“How fate and time brought about not listening to a poet”, wrote Manos Eleftheriou around the 70s, in his poem “Gilded Words (Malamatenia loyia)”. A poem set to music, an almost throbbing hit for summer concerts, as the audience sings with friends and loved ones.

The path is long-winded, overwhelmed with mythology, wars, riots, revolutions, but also love, passion, life, bliss, death. At first, deep in the centuries, there were epic poets. Then the path reaches the post-war era, with poems serving as landmarks of timelessness. Today, the finish line looks like a future legacy. Its emotional splendour is incessant, but also detached, like something forbidden, yet tempting enough to magnetize you. We could define poetry in various ways, but no definition could be worthy of its beauty and charm. In an ultimate try of capturing its essence, it’s enough to quote the term emotion, as the driving force behind its birth.

What made humans emotional enough, centuries and years ago, for them to transubstantiate this insatiable need in words? Life itself, with its good and evils. But it was much more the unbearable need that lives inside us, because a poet feeds from their own flesh and blood anyway, from their passion and their longing. It’s an unprecedented expression of feelings, thoughts become a feeling, the feeling transforms into words, and words become the sensation that redeems or shreds us from time to time. Because within each verse we come across our wounds, our blessings, our truth, so well-hidden from others’ looks. Because, exactly for that reason, poetry makes us emotional, it’s engraved in our hearts, it inconveniences our senses, it paralyzes us.

There cannot be poetry, though, without a creator. A benefactor and builder that pokes our memories and hurts us, sculpting our harsh recollections and leaping. The creator brings life with a blow and dresses the senses with colour. And the poets were humans, too, but someone called them gods. From this weight on their title, they were numb and convinced that this gift is only for a few. That’s why nowadays, people are afraid to call themselves poets, anxious in case they distort its meaning. But what else could they be, if they live their moments with such intensity, such pain, such yearning? They’re the ones who will whimper encountering injustice, who will shout to the full for freedom, that will weep for a love affair, that will leap for a kiss and yearn for the memory.

We’re all poets in our lives, either secretly or publicly, not because of our great heritage, but because of our inexhaustible desire to feel and ache. What are we without our driving forces after all? A body with no voice. Let’s not fear to feel and absorb incentives. Maybe then, there will be poets still around.

Author: Stella Statheropoulou #inviTED


Kiriaki Arnaouti (she/they)

Born a Drama queen, both literally and figuratively. Her mind is constantly switching back and forth between Greek, English and Spanish but her heart is set on two things only; iced coffee and books. Her Sagittarius nature convinces her that she’s the funniest person alive, but that’s for you to discover!

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