Re-imagining "image" in the poetry of Miltos Sachtouris

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Miltos Sachtouris (1919-2005) has traditionally been included in the "first postwar generation" of Greek poets, many of whom spent time in prison or internal exile for their activities on the left, and whose plainspoken verse is known for its straightforward discussions of war and politics. In order to incorporate Sachtouris's oblique, surrealistic poems into this larger group of writings, critics have often focused on those poems legible as historical allegories, presenting his poetry as steeped in essentially realistic images drawn from the everyday horrors of wartime Greece. Yet the grammatical indeterminacy of his language often renders those "images" ultimately unimaginable. Sachtouris's work can still be seen to resonate with that of the postwar generation, however, if we look at the quite literal images of his poems on the page. Through a close examination of Sachtouris's 1945 multi-part poem "The Forgotten Woman," this article demonstrates how Sachtouris's linguistic and visual syntax alike explore the political possibilities of the resistant and the opaque, offering a new model for political engagement in writing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Modern Greek Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science


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