The Poet of Pogoni

DSC_0034 2“Βravery was for the poet ANTHOS POGONITIS a personal attitude.” With these words begins the essay by Nikos A. Tentas ,for the poet of Pogoni Anthos Pogonitis (real name Vassilis Karafillis). Several pieces i will borrow from N. Tentas book, since he describes with a lively and vivid way, as a third eye, both the poet and Pogoni, from which the poet borrowed his name .Born in  Agios Kosmas of PogoniDSC_0027Prefecture in 1910, Vassilis Karafillis always had in mind the bravery songs of Epirus and the Pogonisian beauty. “Built (his village of Agios Kosmas) into a vibrant and beautiful nature, full of spectacular flowers. Beside Gormos river forms an interesting ravine, drowned by the trees .. “.

AGIOS KOSMAS VILLAGEBetween Vissani and Vassiliko village ,St. Kosmas village is the painter that formes the original images in his mind from which Vassilis Karafillis is inspired and draws many times again and again in his poems.

“Since you arrived under Vissianis’ tree my brother,
i wish a greeting i could send
In its shadow clones and with the wings of the wind .. “
(From the poem “UNDER VISSIANI’S TREE”)

 The poet is influenced by the Pogonisian Polyphonic singing, teamwork and collegiality as well as the manliness dance of Epirus and the pain of exile that plagues the country. Foreign places he himself experiences since he leaves his beloved village very young, and moves to Thessaloniki where he finds a job as bread maker.  Leaving sore but “every man has a root in the past”


“Progeny of Vassiliko as instruments are sounded
you all started dancing …
Your feet embroidered an earth carpet of notes
The music to enjoy also we here in exile
ah may we come again
in our Pogonisian soils our favorite
that only the thought can brings us back
(From the poem “Vassiliko”)

Influence is clear from the preaching of St. Cosmas’ : “people will stay poor because they will stop loving nature”, while often brags:” The best Greek language is spoken in Pogoni : “there every word has its own music to the dance of the Lilacs (Easter). In Thessaloniki Anthos Pogonitis, having in mind the woman of Epirus, becomes a proponent of feminism and of the fight for human rights while he starts writing for several newspapers: “Macedonia”, “Mainland Hearth”, “Macedonian Letters’.

“Can you look in the eye the land you were born
Let those who have died being admired
others will be born who will bring
great gift to the children”
(From the poem “TIME”)

DSC_0032The War of 1940 as well as the subsequent Civil war in Greece hurt deeply the poet, who loves passionately his country and with the same passion he writes in his poem “THE STORM OF SLAVERY”:

“Spring seems our century in the centuries, that thick
darkness shed in the hearts of the world and ‘savage hatred.
The message of freedom now embraces the whole earth ..”

Later the great events of the time follow one another (the dictatorship in Greece, the Turkish invasion in Cyprus) and Anthos Pogonitis “always next to the anonymous, ordinary man and with the “memory of St. Cosmas, the village where the language Greek sing with divine harmony” writes:

“History is washing her clothes
and we are told to wear new. And is raining
raining bullets for our soul.”

Basil Karafillis smitten by the tuberculosis dies at Penteli sanatorium in 1977. As Nikos A. Tenta writes: “the life and work of Anthos Pogonitis is concentrated in the words of Albert Camus: “I ​​know the people practically and i have practical knowledge of their behavior , by their actions and the consequences in my life from their passage through it.”

 Poetry Collections: The Damned Seraphim 1937, The Skeletons Of Dreams 1939 Waiting for The Sun 1947, Cases1959, Mirror Lines In 1964, Sight angles 1972, Bitter Synthesis 1977




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