Today's poem is "Before the Ship Arrives"
from Passion Maps

Red Hen Press

Adrianne Kalfopoulou is the author of Wild Greens, a poetry collection from Red Hen Press, and a prose memoir, Broken Greek. She has also published two chapbooks, FIG and CUMULUS. Passion Maps is her second collection of poems. She has taught workshops at the University of Edinburgh's international summer program as well as workshops in Greece and is currently an assistant professor at Hellenic American University in Athens where she developed the general education program and teaches literature.

Other poems by Adrianne Kalfopoulou in Verse Daily:
December 21, 2009:   "Fall Grapes" "We didn't know the acrid scent of trodden grapes..."
November 16, 2002:  Corinna's Bones "You sleep as you lived, far away..."

Books by Adrianne Kalfopoulou:

Other poems on the web by Adrianne Kalfopoulou:
"Holy Agony"
Two poems

Adrianne Kalfopoulou's Website.

About Passion Maps:

"The poems in Passion Maps, when taken together, trace the outlines of 'lingering cartographies of bygone lives/the lyric ruin of cities,' and 'whole towns/now erased by grass.' Early Greek mariners devised portolan maps with lines indicating safe passage around tricky coastlines and across the dangers that lurked on the Mediterranean’s sea bed. 'I set out without a map,' Adrianne Kalfopoulou writes in this fine collection, and on that journey she charts equally treacherous waters. Driven by the force of sheer love, she navigates themes of exile, war, perpetual homesickness, and the complex histories of family and country. That Kalfopoulou is unwilling to let go of these people and places—to willingly suspend herself in 'xenitia, a state of continuous/estrangement' in order to narrate these heartbreaking truths—allows us all to travel with her, crossing the water and arriving at a safe destination. In the end, like the narrator in these poems, we are 'waiting/for the ship to take us home.'
—Debra Marquart

"Adrianne Kalfopoulou’s rich second collection maps 'an inner country' where history is intimate knowledge. Whether set in Greece, America, Turkey or Vietnam, these poems never lose sight of 'the storm / beyond language' that is a living struggle, nor do they forget what it is to 'swallow joy like champagne.' Poetic range for this poet is not just formal, but also emotional, from intense lyrics like 'The Street of the Aphrodite Hotel' to narratives in 'Brides' and “Balkan Voices.' The book teems with characters, and in a poem like 'Neos Kosmos' whole currents of modern history flow through the filter of one Athenian neighborhood. Kalfopoulou writes as mother, daughter, lover and intellectual—international in her experience, fully—engaged, observant and, yes, passionate."
—David Mason

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