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Sikelianos to read poetry

Eleni Sikelianos
Eleni Sikelianos
Photo / Rachel Zucker

Eleni Sikelianos, great-granddaughter of famed Greek lyric poet Angelos Sikelianos and a noted poet in her own right, will present a poetry@mit reading on Thursday, April 7, at 7 p.m. in Room 6-120. A native of California, she now teaches at Naropa University in Boulder, Colo., but remains a Californian at heart. "Her melding of persons and place makes both contemporary and eternal, a remarkable 'California dreaming,' which can well carry all the old echoes. So she does what only a master poet can do--discovers the world once again," said the late poet Robert Creeley about Sikelianos' book-length work, "The California Poem," Her work "The Monster Lives of Boys and Girls" won a 2002 National Poetry Series award, and a memoir of her late father, "The Book of Jon," was recently published by City Lights.

Untitled (The Garment of Praise)

Put on the garment of praise
Boy and Girl of praise Joy
Move god on the lips

Joy or luck fell into a swoon
a barrel of light
sweet crude

an agent having power
to reduce, destroy, or consume

Oh here comes a doggess sciomancer
divining love
and hate by means of shadows and

a beautiful bitch communicating with
ghosts of the living and dead

Sunlight falls across the body
The house creaks, inspiration hits

Move away

What are we doing here? All
our movements and actions
are helping or hindering
the dead

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on April 6, 2005 (download PDF).

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