Kelvin Corcoran’s For the Greek Spring consists of a selection of his poetry about Greece, combining new work with poems from his previous collections. An air of presence and mystery; a roadside shrine:
‘As if by arrangement four figures are spaced evenly in the foreground of the photograph; a road sign, an old man seated on a bench, an empty bench and a shrine. The road runs around the southern slopes of Parnassos. The view drops into the deep river valley, make one mistake and you die. Beyond, the mountain wall of silence rises out of the frame as you stand with your back to Delphi….
You stand with your back to the sanctuary. The road is empty on a morning in Spring. scattered with scrub and gorse, the white mountain rises.’
Interviewed by Andrew Duncan, published in Don’t Start Me Talking (Salt 2006), Kelvin Corcoran referred to the importance of Greece for him: ‘…spending time in Greece, visiting sites, and wanting to know something about the timetable a few thousand years before, which has led to patterns of behaviour we see as political now, I think it’s all prefigured, I don’t think that much has changed.’
For the Greek Spring gives us an ancient presence in 2013.
Peter Hughes has his own Greek poems of course and they appear in the newly published Selected Poems. As with Kelvin Corcoran this poetry explores the geography of living presence and in the selections from The Summer of Agios Dimetrios we can feel ‘the feral sea-nymphs nudging the rudders’ and note ‘the darker sound / of the sea far below which almost gasps / almost continuously & so it should / carrying for miles & years through the scrub / of this old basket of litter & stars.’