: Poetry Today: Standing by Pointlessness: The Poetry of Kiki Dimoula :

an excerpt by John Taylor


The Brazen Plagiarist : Selected Poems by Kiki Dimoula, translated from the Greek by Cecile Inglessis Margellos and Rika Lesser. Yale University Press, 392 pp., $30.00 (cloth).


When I first took Kiki Dimoula’s The Brazen Plagiarist in hand, I was vaguely troubled by the title. Something was giving me the impression that Dimoula’s title was more appropriate for a short story—but these were Greek poems. Was I somehow superposing it on the Hungarian writer Dezsö Kosztolányi’s superb short-story collection, Le Traducteur cleptomane (“The Kleptomaniac Translator”), a book that I had read in French in 1985 and long thereafter kept giving as a gift to friends? Perhaps so, since “plagiarist” is “logoklopos” in Greek and “klopos” is etymologically related to the “klepto” in “kleptomaniac.” In other words, a “logoklopos” is a sort of