Cloe and Alexandra – Two Contemporary Greek Poetesses

poetry by Cloe Koutsoubelis and Alexandra Bakonika
translated by Manolis


Cloe and Alexandra are two contemporary Greek Poetesses with passionate voices that work from within today's human condition to describe its pain and pleasure; two voices so similar and yet so different in their expression of the internal. They are two poetesses who try to blend both pain and pleasure into an acceptable value.

Alexandra's voice is thunderous like a bell at day break, crystal clear like a brilliant spring morning. At times black or white, definite, with declarations such as 'his erection hard as rock/concealed in his pants'. Other times she approaches the big game of 'Eros' exactly as that: a game with mutual contributions by the two involved where they both value their effort to free themselves from past prison cells, where most people reside, from 'yellow submarines' where most people dwell.

Cloe's voice is subdued almost unintended, implying almost insinuating, yet powerful like Alexander's sword that slashed the Gordian knot to pieces. She conceals the ultimate truth while with her simplicity she pierces the reader through and through. She approaches the subtle difference between the two sexes from the point of how they find their common ground through self-expression.

Both Cloe and Alexandra possess clarity in the development of their poems while they build anticipation with so much unsaid though expected and they present their characters as subtle and allusive yet at the same time as tragically obvious as they are. Both being familiar with the Greek environment where light is the most important medium, the best cleansing mechanism both poetesses quite comfortably endure the weight of the ancient beauty sitting on shoulders creative and strong.

– Manolis

About the Author

About the Translator

Manolis (Emmanuel Aligizakis) is a Greek-Canadian poet and author. He was recently appointed an honorary instructor and fellow of the International Arts Academy, and awarded a Masters for the Arts in Literature. He is recognized for his ability to convey images and thoughts in a rich and evocative way that tugs at something deep within the reader. Born in the village of Kolibari on the island of Crete in 1947, he moved with his family at a young age to Thessaloniki and then to Athens, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Sciences from the Panteion University of Athens. After graduation, he served in the armed forces for two years and emigrated to Vancouver in 1973, where he worked as an iron worker, train labourer, taxi driver, and stock broker, and studied English Literature at Simon Fraser University. He has written three novels and numerous collections of poetry, which are steadily being released as published works. His articles, poems and short stories in both Greek and English have appeared in various magazines and newspapers in Canada, United States, Sweden, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Australia, and Greece. His poetry has been translated into Spanish, Romanian, Swedish, German, Hungarian languages and has been published in book form or in magazines in various countries. He now lives in White Rock, where he spends his time writing, gardening, traveling, and heading Libros Libertad, an unorthodox and independent publishing company which he founded in 2006 with the mission of publishing literary books. His translation book George Seferis-Collected Poems was shortlisted for the Greek National Literary Awards, the highest literary recognition of Greece.

More about Manolis Aligizakis