‘Simply’ and ‘Not All The Time’ by Maria Laina

A mauve bird
with yellow teeth
red feathers
green feet
and a rose belly
is not
a mauve bird.

by Maria Laina.

Published in Pacific Quarterly Moana (Hamilton, New Zealand). Vol. 5, No. 3, 1980, and in Ten Women Poets of Greece. Wire Press – San Francisco, 1982

I ignore poetry
– not all the time –
when the blood throbs on walls
when pottery falls to pieces
and life uncoils
like thread in a bobbin
I spit at my sorrow and completely
ignore poetry
when colours plague my soul
yellow blue and orange
I withhold my hate and calmly
ignore poetry
when your eyes tie my stomach
into knots

What’s more
– not all the time –
I ignore poetry
when it becomes a quaint ambition

a rare find
on a love-bench in a future hall.

by Maria Laina
Published in Contemporary Literature in Translation (Canada) No. 27, Summer 1977, and in KUDOS (UK),  Issue Six, 1980 , http://www.poiein.gr/archives/2192/index.html

Notes on the Poems

Rather than imagining that the problem is with how a woman poet uses her voice, I expect that the issue is more with how literature (serious poetic literature) is often still considered to be a male preserve. As I have said before now, male poets mature with age and women poets disappear. 

Here is Laina’s Wikipedia page and list of her books

Ενηλικίωση (Coming of Age), 1968
Επέκεινα (Hereafter), 1970
Αλλαγή τοπίου (A Change of Landscape), 1972
Σημεία στίξεως (Punctuation Marks), 1979
Δικό της (Of her own), 1985
Ρόδινος φόβος (Rose fear), 1992
Εδώ (Here), 2003

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