Verses, the tractors of poets

Dionysios Solomos was a refugee, Andreas Kalvos a refugee, C.P. Cavafy a refugee, George Seferis a refugee, Iliuas Venezis a refugee, Dido Sotiriou a refugee and Loxandra the hero of Maria Iordanidou also a refugee. So many of our writers an d poets, both in the past and now, had been refugees. Thousands of Greek refugees came from Asia Minor in 1922, thousands of Greek immigrants, sons and daughters of immigrants, veered after the war leaving Greece for America, Canada, Europe and Australia, looking for a better life. And besides, all of us are squatters and transients in this world.
Today, because of the geostrategic interests of the West, endless boatloads of wretched refugees from countries devastated by war arrive daily in the islands of Greece. Those unfortunate fellow human beings abandon their ancestral homes in order to escape death and the kind of poverty that creates human tsunamis because of civil strife, religious hatred, blind violence and brute terrorism.
Poets don’t have tractors to take them to the streets in order to impress and be listened to, but only verses with which they embrace the refugees and stand beside them against that hurricane of destruction, against that international humanistic crisis of a massive scale that comes from “civilized” nations and ruins states and peoples in the entire planet, in an escalating globalization of terror, fear and endless misery.
The poets are here not as mere narcissists, tourists or strange and exotic onlookers observing from afar the refugee problem, but as active citizens from a wide spectrum of society. They see and listen to the misery of the man next to them, taking the pulse and signals of their time and age, denouncing the bureaucratic hypocrisy both of the EU and of the political and economic elite throughout the world, transforming their verses to actual support and honest solidarity with the refugees.

Dinos Siotis
Poets Circle, Athens

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