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  • Writer's pictureSophia Kouidou-Giles

The Seepage of Dreams

Guest Post: Emmanuel Aligizakis (Manolis), translation of Billy Wolak's original English poetry into Greek (Pictured below).


I want to explore your entire body with kisses,

kisses thirsty as light, kisses that open the wind.

And I want my lips to excite your shivering body

with an insatiable delirium that invites more kisses,

kisses brief as a smile passing through lightning,

kisses reaching inside you deeper than silence,

breathless kisses that leave your lips still moist with tomorrow,

kisses that arouse the haunted silk of your breasts,

kisses that make your scars sing, dazzling kisses blind as ecstasy,

kisses that make you writhe and shudder then squeeze me tighter,

desperate kisses that stun the flesh, awaken the muscles,

sink down into the blood, and course through your tingling body,

indiscriminate kisses down your stomach and up your thighs,

kisses like a bouquet of roses sweeping over tempting nakedness,

kisses that polish the swirling whirlpools of your flesh,

kisses long as summer, kisses for beginning a journey.


Θέλω να εξερευνήσω το κορμί σου με φιλιά

σαν φως διψασμένα φιλιά που δυναμώνουν στον αγέρα

και θέλω τα χείλη μου να εξιτάρουν το τρεμάμενο κορμί σου

σ’ ατέλειωτο παραλήρημα που να ζητά ακόμα πιο πολλά

φιλιά φευγάτα σαν χαμογέλια που φωτίζονται μοναστραπής

φιλιά που σ’ αγγίζουν πιο βαθειά κι απ’ τη σιωπή

φιλιά που κόβουν την ανάσα μα σ’ αφήνουν δροσερά

τα χείλη σου ως το επόμενο πρωί

φιλιά που ερεθίζουν το ήρεμο του στήθους σου μετάξι

φιλιά που κάνουν τις πληγές να τραγουδήσουν, καυτά φιλιά

εκστατικά, να λυώνεις να σε κάνουν και να τρέμεις

κρατώντας με σφιχτά στην αγκαλιά σου, φιλιά απεγνωσμένα

που ξαφνιάζουν το κορμί και τους μυώνες ξεξυπνούν

φιλιά που κολυμπούν στο αίμα και ταξιδεύουν σ’ όλο σου

το αιθέριο κορμί

αμέτρητα φιλιά πάνω στις γάμπες και στο στομάχι σου

μπουκέτο τριαντάφυλλα φιλιά στο σώμα το προκλητικό

φιλιά που λειαίνουν της σάρκας τον κυκλώνα,

φιλιά σαν καλοκαίρια που θα μας ξαξιδέψουν μακριά


The ancient Greeks relied on

the many uses of ecstasy.

It brought lovers together

erasing boundaries of bodies

fostering intimacy and trust.

It brought the gods closer.

It brought flashing-thighed

Aphrodite, Eros, the persuader,

and the trickster Dionysos

inside a lover’s body

possessing the will

forcing every lover to yearn

for desires beyond reason.

Also, the ancient Greeks believed

that ecstasy could cure

the most pathological madness.

For such a case, the Corybantes,

a troop of fierce fighters,

would be called to dance

frenetically in a circle for hours

around the suffering patient

to the haunting flute’s melody.

The menacing Corybantes

would dance in full armor

leaping wildly through the air in a trance

clashing their shields with spears

making threatening gestures

with their razor-sharp swords


Οι αρχαίοι Έλληνες έκαναν

καλή χρήση της έκστασης.

Βοηθούσε στην ένωση των εραστών

καθώς αφαιρούσε σύνορα σωμάτων

και προωθούσε την εμπιστοσύνη

και την ερωτική λαγνεία.

Έφερνε τους θεούς κοντύτερα

την αστραποβόλα Αφροδίτη

με τον κατεργάρη Διόνυσο

μέσα στο κορμί του εραστή

που είχε τη θέληση

κι υποδαύλιζε στους εραστές

την πεθυμιά πέραν του λογικού.

Πίστευαν επίσης οι αρχαίοι Έλληνες

ότι η έκσταση γιάτρευε

την πιο παθολογική τρέλα.

Σε τέτοια περίπτωση,

καλούσαν τους πολεμιστές

Κορύβαντες που θα χόρευαν

σαν τρελοί ένα κυκλικό χορό

ώρες ολόκληρες γύρω απ’ τον ασθενή

στη υπέροχη απόκοσμη μελωδία φλάουτου.

Οι απειλητικοί Κορύβαντες χόρευαν

με πλήρη πανοπλία, πηδώντας

ξέφρενα στο αέρα σαν υπνωτισμένοι

χτυπώντας τι ασπίδες τους με τα κοντάρια

κάνοντας εκφοβιστικές χειρονομίες


When the fishermen saw Homer passing

awkwardly with his walking stick,

one of the younger men taunted him

with an improvised line:

“Those we caught, we left behind,

and those we didn’t catch,

we brought with us.”

Homer was baffled

by these words

uttered by a fisherman.

He walked a little further,

fell in the mud,

and died quietly.

An oracle had prophesied

that the blind poet would die

when he could no longer understand

better than other mortals

a riddle posed by a boy.

The young fisherman, it seems,

was joking about his head lice.


Όταν οι ψαράδες είδαν τον Όμηρο να περνά

στηριζόμενος στο μπαστούνι του

ο νεώτερος τους τον χλεύασε

με τις αυθόρμητες του λέξεις

ό,τι πιάσαμε το αφήσαμε πίσω μας

κι ό,τι μας ξέφυγε φέρνουμε μαζί μας.

Ο Όμηρος παραξενεύτηκε με

τα λόγια αυτά του ψαρά και

καθώς προχώρησε λίγο πιο πέρα

έπεσε στη λάσπη

όπου και πέθανε ήρεμα.

Ο χρησμός του μαντείου είχε πει

ότι ο Όμηρος θα πέθαινε

όταν δεν θα καταλάβαινε

καλύτερα απ’ τους άλλου θνητούς

το αίνιγμα που θα του έθετε ένα παιδί.

Ο νεαρός ψαράς, φαίνεται,

αστειευόταν για τις

ψήρες στα μαλλιά του.


About Bill Wolak

Bill Wolak is a poet who lives in New Jersey and has published fifteen books of poetry, his latest entitled The Nakedness Defense with Ekstasis Editions. His poetry has appeared in over a hundred magazines. His translation with Mahmood Karimi-Hakak, Love Me Moe Than the Others: Selected Poetry of Iraj Mirza, was published by Cross-Cultural Communications in 2014. His translations have appeared in such magazines as The Sufi Journal, Basalt, Visions International, World Poetry Journal, and Atlantic Review. His critical work and interviews have appeared in Notre Dame Review, Persian Heritage Magazine, Gargoyle, Southern Humanities Review, and Prime Numbers Magazine.

He is the recipient of several National Endowment for the Humanities scholarships and two Fulbright-Hays scholarships to study and travel to India. In 2007, he was selected to take part in a Friendship Delegation to Iran sponsored by the Fellowship of Reconciliation, America’s largest and oldest interfaith peace and justice organization. During the summer of 2010, Mr. Wolak was awarded a Field Study Opportunity in China and Japan by the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia. He was selected to be a featured poet at festivals in India five times and has been a featured poet in Romania, Italy, China, Kosovo and Poland..

Presented here is a translation of his poetry published in a limited edition, entitled The seepage of Dreams, Ροή Ονείρων; the collection has been translated by a prolific Greek author and translator, Emmanuel Aligizakis in the Greek language.

About Emmanuel Aligizakis (Manolis)

Manolis is a Cretan-Canadian poet and author. He’s the most prolific writer-poet of the Greek diaspora with οover 70 books published in more than a dozen different countries and in eleven different languages. At the age of eleven he transcribed the nearly 500 year old romantic poem Erotokritos, now released in a limited edition of 100 numbered copies and made available for collectors of such rare books at 5,000 dollars Canadian: the most expensive book of its kind to this day.

He was recently appointed an honorary instructor and fellow of the International Arts Academy, and awarded a Master’s 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, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Australia, Jordan, Serbia and Greece. His poetry has been translated in Romanian, Swedish, German, Hungarian, Ukrainian, French, Portuguese, Arabic, Turkish, Serbian, Russian, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, 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. Following the steps of El Greco he finishes all his books with the phrase: Μανώλης Αλυγιζάκης, Κρης εποίει.

His translation book “George Seferis-Collected Poems” was shortlisted for the Greek National Literary Awards the highest literary recognition of Greece. In September 2017 he was awarded the First Poetry Prize of the Mihai Eminescu International Poetry Festival, in Craiova, Romania.


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