Buy This Issue
The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 28 October 2017
14 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 28 OCTOBER 2017 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Greek Style Council to introduce online boutique The latest in Greek fashion and design will be just a click away The platform that promotes talented Greek designers and artisans is about to open an e-boutique, and founder Helen Tirekidis says it will showcase the latest in Greek fashion and design. "Greece was always known for its design," Tirekidis told Neos Kosmos last year at the launch of the Greek Style Council. For Tirekidis, the initiative was born out of the Greek crisis. But while noting the economic downturn, she also witnessed the prolific output from Greek designers. In 2016 she travelled to her parents' home of Kastoria, meeting with upcoming and established local designers, hearing their stories and seeing their collections, widening the scope for inclusion into her designer promoting vision. The Greek Australian saw design as a way to express the optimism of the Greek people during troubling times. The persistence of the Greek spirit was something that the fashion mogul wanted to portray outside of Greece and the Greek community. The online boutique will feature designers who are at the top of their game. Online audiences will be introduced to Salty Bags, the Corfu brand repurposing decommissioned sails for nautical style totes and duffels. Punters will also be introduced to Valia Gabriel, the woman behind handmade Greek-style leather sandals, antique style jewellery with a twist from Lito Karakostanoglou, and classic swimwear from Sophie Deloudi. In many ways more than just a shopping experience, Greek Style Council is a message from Greece to you. Tirekidis says "I want Australians – whether it be retailers, press or customers – to be made aware of what Greece is doing well". The Greek Style Council e-boutique is set to launch REVIEW On the ‘phenomenon’ that is poet Dimitris Troaditis Dr Edward Reilly explores the Greek Australian poet’s latest volume of work Tightrope Walking / Áêñïâáóßåò poems. It serves as a means of dialogue, which all too often cannot take place given separations in time and distance, and neither letters nor social media quite fill that space a completed poem can occupy. Some time ago I sent out a chapbook of mine to friends, and marvellous to say, I received Dimitris Troaditis' volume Tightrope Walking / Ακροβασíες in exchange. As readers of Neos Kosmos would know, Dimitris Troaditis is something of a phenomenon. Born 1959 in Greece, he started writing poetry with serious intent almost 30 years ago and soon afterwards arrived in Australia, and has not stopped writing since. Two recent collections of his verse have been published in Athens, and he maintains a bilingual website To Koskino. He's political, outspoken, and quite tough, though sometimes his politics can irritate me, as I am still a rather conservative Adelaidean Catholic. Even so, one respects the strength and beauty of each poet, regardless of their background, for poetry is our common ground. Then, as I am a βάρβαρος, having no Greek, with but a little Latin from school, I will only comment on some of the poems as they appear in translation. The first thing to strike me is the set of dark images and references used to convey the swirl of sentiment, for example, the use of 'grave', 'old drawings', 'stones', 'wretched prayers' in the title poem Tightrope Walking, then more words emphasising the acrobat's dilemma, 'taut', 'bonds', 'calamity' and so on, leading to the reader being prepared to consider the gravity of the real situation we face, 'whether immortality / can release us / from the bonds of causality'. Suddenly the poem is not about a particular acrobat, but about ourselves, whether we can achieve that 'perfect / multi-levelled footstep' needed to avoid 'calamity'. O Salty Bag from Corfu. PHOTO: GREEK STYLE COUNCIL ne of the pleasures of a literary friendship is exchanging PHOTO: TWITTER Poet Dimitris Troaditis. PHOTO: PETER KAKALIAS Is he referring to death, oblivion, to being 'buried alive'? If so, in what? The poem leaves me nervous, wondering what's next in store. In the sonnet My Secrets I encountered fantastic confession. The speaker becomes divine, almost maniacal, as he reveals his intent to 'engrave', 'stamp' and 'draw' himself on his lover's body, but not out of the light like a Zeus to Danae, claiming however that he would 'only travel on the feathers of nightingales'. Then a remembered line from the English poet, Keats, led me to refer to this image, one I have never seen or heard, only to read of the tragic tale of Philomela, and remember a line from TS Eliot, that supreme symbolist. The second part then presents a series of water metaphors, 'tears', 'mists', 'rains and hurricanes', and as I am now reading the speaker as Tereus addressing his sister, all these images reflecting on a deep 'grief'. Perhaps I was reading too much into that poem, but if my student reading and years of classroom teaching are any guide, it is becoming clear that Troaditis is not just writing contemporary trifles, but continuously is digging deep into the remembered veins of Hellenic literature. He gathers strength from that, and from his own political analysis of his life and surrounding circumstances, as demonstrated in poems such as Terror Australia and Of the Community. And, as his translator, Dean Kalimniou, points out in the introduction, Troaditis' words 'drench the page with the force of a torrent', almost to the point of the reader being overwhelmed. Such a clearly articulated force is rare in Australian letters. Tightrope Walking / Ακροβασíες is a strong collection, and a suitable companion to others in this series of poetry chapbooks, alongside those by Dimitris Tsaloumas, Zeny Giles et al. Dimitris Troaditis, Tightrope Walking /Ακροβασíες, translated by D Kalimniou, Owl Publishing, Brighton, Vic, 2017. ISBN: 978-0-9805321-9-7 * Edward Reilly is the founding editor of the literary journal Azuria published annually in Geelong.
21 October 2017
04 November 2017