Poetry by Maria Laina

From Hers, tr. by Karen Van Dyck

May 11, 2022  By Maria Laina

tr. by Karen Van Dyck

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She has nothing to say.
She simply touches herself
and watches herself
and wants


While whole phrases pass by and she accepts them
and she constantly faces great danger
still the body she remembered
but there was something she had never seen.


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Fine; even if sad
since until now it has never ceased being
leaning over her body
and breathing with voices.

Then she is alone;
she trusts no one when she says
I caress my body
I caress my awkward body.

Not that it matters;
she hardly minds
because she dreamt herself lying down
a golden deer in the valley.



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Excerpted from Hers by Maria Laina, translated by Karen Van Dyck and published by World Poetry Books.

Maria Laina
Maria Laina
Maria Laina was born in Patras, Greece in 1947. She graduated from the Athens Law School and has worked in editing and teaching modern Greek language and literature at American college programs. She has produced and broadcast literary programs for radio and written scripts for television. She has published eight plays, four of which are monologues and eight collections of poetry. She has received three awards, one of which was the Greek National Award for Poetry in 1993. A collection of her poetry translated into German was given the Award of the City of Munich in 1995. Her plays have been performed on central stages in Athens, Thessaloniki and elsewhere, and her poetry has been translated into most European languages and presented at international poetry festivals in Jerusalem, Berlin, New York, London, Stockholm, Munich, Princeton, and Majorca. She has translated Katherine Mansfield, Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, Edith Wharton, Patricia Highsmith, Charlotte Bronté, and Tennessee Williams among others, and has edited an anthology of 20th century poets, a selection of which is translated into Greek.

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