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Petrifide Day

René Veneau

LEMNOS, RITSOS… Going to Limnos, by friendship looking for peace of mind or curiosity… Arriving at Myrina with gull escort, Castle is masked by the mist, it is in May. On the next day Limnos comes to light, ochre and blue, and offers itself to our sight. Landscapes of exception, dunes, volcanic mountains, wild profile coasts, fertile plains … Villages succeed to villages, Thanos, Kondias, Moudros, Kondopouli. Kondopouli, RITSOS was confined there, in the neighborhood of this village… Ritsos who “survived” on this island from October 1948 till January 1949. Beauty opposed to horror. Poems written on cigarette packages, small pads Then, landscapes do not change, but the way we look at them that is changing. And at this moment, ” certain things acquire an inexplicable weight “, « Iphigénie come back » (Γ. ΡΙΤΣΟΣ, Ποιήματα, τόμος ΣΤ’, έκδ. Κέδρος, σ. 117). And at this moment comes the idea of diving in this particular poetic moment. Illustrating some selected verses because they awake more particularly our sensibility with an image, it is taking the risk of distorting Ristos poetry purity and bringing superficiality or heaviness. Then, image has not to be at the foreground, but as much as possible be to the service of poetry. That is why I have chosen to set up the image behind the handwritten text, because word comes first. The photographic subject must be seen through this filter. The text throws its shadow there. This would like to be the evocation of the weight of what Ritsos has lived there. The appeal of handwriting comes to add life and expressiveness, and gives the vigour to the text itself. Imagination reinforces accord between text and images. Simple images, I hope, in order to remain faithful to Ritsos because: « Behind simple things I hide, so you have to find me» « Το νόημα της απλότητας », Παρενθέσεις (1946-47).

Portrait photo by Rene Veneau

René Veneau



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