April is National Poetry Month. To celebrate, we’ve curated another collection featuring Greek poets. This week, meet Greek-American poet Lia Siomou.
National Poetry Month 2017: Celebrating Greek Poets
Welcome to our latest series, in honor of National Poetry Month, celebrating the work of Greek poets.
From Sappho to Ritsos, Greeks have always had a way with words. In celebration of National Poetry Month, we have collected some delightful and moving poems by contemporary Greek poets.We’ll spotlight a different writer each week. We hope you enjoy this series.
This week, we present Greek-American Poet Lia Siomou. Lia selected the following poem, “Paradise Lost”, written in 2000, because, she says, “it’s one that always stirs the heart of the audience”.
Paradise Lost by Lia Siomou
Glimpses of light
in the midst of the dark
miserable heart you are.
Dark is what
you are staring at
Glimpses of light
of a glory past
Maybe a smile
so faint hélas!
To get you through
your days hélas
Hide in the shadows
of the deep chagrin
In the clouds of the storm
stand alone in the middle
of this atrocious cyclone
Hide in the shadows
of the yellow moon
The agony, the grief
of the enduring wound.
Move as the shadows move
veiling the torment, veiling pain
trying to hide the anguish, in vain..
Hide, hide. Far from the truth
that binds in horror
The dreams of your youth
Unspoken and bitter, resentful truth!
***This poem was set to music by Dr. Athanasios Zervas
Related: Greek-American Poet Katie Aliferis: Channeling the Muse
Meet Lia Siomou
Lia Siomou was born and raised in Athens, Greece. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University. Lia came to the U.S. to pursue her graduate studies at Michigan State University (MSU), where she received her Master’s degree in Science (Biochemistry).
She has worked as a researcher both at MSU and Northwestern University. Lia then worked for 18 years as a scientist with the U.S Department of Energy (DOE) at Argonne National Laboratory, located in the Chicago suburbs.
During the course of her career, Lia found she needed a creative outlet. She felt the desire to write, and in 1995, began to compose her poetry. Lia said that she believes the seeds were sown in her teen years, when she’d stay up all night reading the poetry of Victor Hugo in the original French. Although all her published collections are in Greek, she has written many poems in English.
The prolific poet has published six poetry collections, Erodios, Alkyonides, Magiostefano, Spondi Oneirou, En gi erimo, and Attica. Her books, published in Greece by two prominent publishing houses (Dodoni, and Gavrielides), have received excellent reviews by well-known poets and authors. Her work has also been praised by Greek-American press.
Several years ago, Lia participated in an event at the Field Museum in Chicago that celebrated Dante’s Divine Comedy. Among 7 poets from different countries, she represented Greece, and recited her poem, “Take Me With You”. The event’s light and sound installation, “Divina Natura”, which illuminated the exterior of the museum, was designed by internationally-renowned artist, Marco Nereo Rotelli.
During the last few years, Lia has partnered with Dr. Athanasios Zervas, composer and professor at the University of Macedonia Greece, who set 4 of her poems to music. He’s presented the songs at concerts at the Athens Conservatory; Northwestern University; Chicago State University; University of Thessaloniki; Odeion School of Music in Skokie, IL; Hellenic American Academy in Deerfield, IL; and throughout the Chicago area.
Connect with Lia Siomou: Facebook
National Poetry Month 2016:
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