A Knot of Cypress Trees

Reading a collection of poetry by Yannis Ritsos, titled Monochords. The works are set as terse phases, fragmented sentences, or clusters of words with surreal arrangements. I had forgotten how much an influence his work impacted my own writing.
4— The words left out of the poem are sacred.

228— The Greek line of the hill. Its missing temple floating in the air.

250— All right, heaven. Even if it doesn’t exist.

270— Mounted on hazardous scaffolding, we are cleaning our temples’ pediments.
Likewise I forgot how much Ritsos helped formulate the patterns I utilize — specifically for haiku or tanka situations. Sparse details, without background exposition. A stress placed on imagery. Allowing the reader to provide personal reactions to atmospheric objects, actions.
281/ a knot of cypress trees lean forward slightly in the midday rain; from back of the house, the sound of steam rises off damp laundry


  1. I'm going to search for his work.
    I particularly like 'the words left out of the poem are sacred'.
    The silence between the words - I strive to hear it. It's that silence which grants true meaning.
    And yes, I do hear his echo in your own work.

    1. Ritsos' sparse tone and blunt imagery always encourages a strong atmospheric reaction from me as a reader.


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