Fine Young Cannibal: What I Learned from Ritsos

A Tribute to Edmund Keeley

As a teenager interested in poetry, I spent a lot of time scouring my father’s bookshelves for poems and poets who moved me, and, importantly for any creative writer, for something I could steal. Writers, after all, are cannibals. We eat what tastes good to us, to fuel our own creativity. In this short essay, I want to scroll back in time as far back as forty years to when I first encountered the work of the modern Greek poets, mostly in translation by Edmund (Mike) Keeley, work that was very much to my taste.