Ποιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

The role of the concept in Katerina's poem 'Destiny also flows' by Hatto Fischer

Katerina Anghelaki Rooke                                                          Lindos, Rhodes 2011


Destiny also flows - Katerina Anghelaki Rooke


At dawn the sea turns green like a meadow

and you can see how the imperishable water

views the grass

how it conceives the partiality of the root

the bondage of the fruit.

A forest hour of the liquid element

a leafy moment for the water

and the beloved is planted in the mind

like a weeping concept.

I understand the basic principle

of that which while standing still hits me

while being absolute, flows:

instantaneously the fleeting

face of love is created;

it is in eternal blue

that the rooster snuffs it.

And always the same grief:

Nature asks us with constant blossoming

to confirm the copies of the invisible

while violently pushes us outside form.

My eyes then flow like fountains

as if they had never ceased to flow over him

and as adorned with drops

I emerge from my sorrows,

I don’t forget that under his nameless

skin it is he alone who moves.


From the Collection of Poems 1986 - 96

Katerina Anghelaki Rooke

(Translated by the author)


Ρευστή και η μοίρα - Κατερίνα Αγγελάκη Ρουκ

Χαράματα, σαν λιβάδι πρασινίζει η θάλασσα

και βλέπεις ποια εικόνα τ’ άφθαρτα νερά έχουν για τη χλόη,

πώς συλλαμβάνουν τη μεροληψία της ρίζας,

τη δουλεία του καρπού.

Ώρα δασική του υγρού στοιχείου

στιγμούλα φυλλοβόλα του νερού

στο νου φυτεύεται ο αγαπημένος

σαν ιδέα κλαίουσα.

Καταλαβαίνω τη γενική αρχή

αυτού που όντας ακίνητο

με χτυπά,

όντας απόλυτο ρέει:

ακαριαία φτιάχνεται το δευτερόλεπτο

πρόσωπο του έρωτα∙

-σε αιώνιο μπλε-

ο πετεινός ψοφάει.

Και κάθε φορά η ίδια οδύνη:

Ζητάει η φύση με συνεχείς ανθήσεις

να επικυρώσουμε τα αντίγραφα του αόρατου

και μαζί μας σπρώχνει με δύναμη

έξω απ’ τη μορφή.

Βρύσες τότε ανοίγουν και τρέχουν τα μάτια μου

σαν να μην είχαν ποτέ

πάνω σ’ εκείνον σταματήσει

κι όπως με σταγόνες στολισμένη

αναδύομαι μέσ’ απ’ τις λύπες μου,

δεν ξεχνώ πως κάτω απ’ το ανώνυμο

δέρμα του μονάχα αυτός σαλεύει.



Ποιήματα 1986-1996



'Imperishable water': the role of the concept in the poem by Katerina anghelaki Rooke called 'Destiny also flows'

Katerina Anghelaki Rooke and Haroula Hadjinicolaou     Lindos, Rhodes 2011


In her poem 'destiny flows' appears the term 'imperishable water'. Haroula Hadjinicolaou felt so much inspired by this particular metaphorical concept, that she made it into the motto for the entire action in Rhodes in 2011. The poem begins with observant eyes of not an alligator but of the imperishable water:

At dawn the sea turns green like a meadow

and you can see how the imperishable water

views the grass

From there Katerina Anghelaki Rooke continues to develop her understanding of a concept. She uses the example of roots. Insofar as it is only a small partiality of life, such a concept takes on only significance once perceived in bondage with not just anything but with a fruit. She continues then to describe what hour it is, namely that of the forest or of the leave floating in the water, but add that there is also root in the sense of what we plant in our minds especially when we think of the ones we love!

Her poetry is written in the most beautiful Greek language. This poem is one of the rare ones which she translated herself into English. Moreover her poem takes on a special philosophical bent as she discusses not just any concept but the one of life itself.

'Imperishable water' is a significant metaphor in an age clinging to vague promises that something shall be undertaken to halt man's destruction of nature. This is especially underlined by politicians but also environmentalists referring constantly to 'sustainable development'. Katerina Anghelaki Rooke enters this debate almost silently but with intellectual fervor. For she states simply that water does not need such rhetorics reflecting only man's political gambit with nature, for the very characteristic of water is to be resilient i.e. 'imperishable'.



Katerina Anghelaki Rooke in Lindos


Katerina Anghelaki Rooke joined the group on Rhodos only later during the week, that is on a Thursday. Her physical condition does not allow her anymore to go on extensive excursions but Haroula wanted her to be a part of the workshop. And besides her poetry, she loves to participate in discussions. She made throughout those days Thursday until Sunday, the day of departure, tremendous intellectual contributions. One was linked to the notion of compromise, the other about how we become all members of the same family, a family of fear once we realize not only we human beings are not going to be around for ever, but earth as well is in jeopardy in terms of existence if mankind continues along this path of destruction.

Katerina Anghelaki Rooke together with Phivos Kollias


It is always amazing to see her vitality come across in an atmosphere she loves so much, namely that of being amongst people who do not mind her shouting for some more beer or ouzo, but who know as well to engage her in a debate about how meaningful is life. She convinces through her strong character and booming voice revealing an intellectual honesty. At the same time, she is very careful when taking a position on any subject. When asked about her opinion as to any particular subject, Katerina Anghelaki Rooke seems to navigate through all invisible dangers and never traps herself in some obtruse statement. She is more than just aware of the paradoxes in life. It is something which never ceases to amaze her. That is the philosophical springing point in her poetry insofar as no concept can ever be abstract when it 'weeps' and, therefore, reveals the ever presence of grief. Linked to that is the water which flows. It is a force in need to be reckoned with.

For example, she is amazed that the 'imperishable water' shows two very distinct and different qualities, namely while understanding its basic principle "of that which while standing still hits me / while being absolute, flows: / instantly the fleeting / face of love is created". She returns to that concept which has been planted in the mind, and calls it the 'weeping concept.'

She continues in her poem how nature constantly asks of human beings to confirm the invisible while pushing nevertheless everything outside the form. Now in philosophy form is the prerequisite for something to exist. Ernst Bloch would say in his 'lessons of the matter', that water has only meaning if you say river or lake. The form matters as it gives everything a concrete existence. Now comes the significance of the poem about the 'imperishable water'. Katerina gives still further meaning insofar water which 'flows' goes beyond form. That can suggest that other forms for further reflections are needed. In the meantime, the flow of water out of grief tells the story that while she emerges out of sorrows, she is reminded of the fact that "under his nameless / skin it is he alone who moves." Is it earth or what else to be called the mover?

Hatto Fischer 14.8.2012

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