Poetry Collection: 12 Women

Review by Dr. Giannis Kalioris

It is neither a cerebral contemplation that accumulates in itself, nor a lyrical diffusion, but an inwardness that, cleansed of illusions and naked, is detached from its silent depths to become consciousness, and to be thrown, alone and bound, into the “universe of winds ”- in the harsh dialectic of the world…


Thematically and conceptually contradicting her painting, Maria Stamati’s poetry refers to it without being subordinate. A primary and autonomous discourse, it simultaneously memorializes the visual gesture with a sense of contemplation and thoughtfulness, which hovers from the molecular elements of existence to the infinite magnitudes of the Whole.

It is neither a cerebral contemplativeness contracting into itself, nor a lyrical diffusion, but an interiority that, cleansed of illusions and naked, is detached from its silent depths to become consciousness, and to be thrown, lonely and bound, into the “world of winds” – the harsh dialectic of the world. And in it, amidst the seismic convulsions of life, ethereal yet suffering, it struggles to define its own stigma and grasp the meaning of its own adventure.

Following the definition of the school of the French linguist André Martinet, if one accepts poetry as the surprise caused by the coupling of words that are mutually contradictory or incompatible in their logical referentiality, then Maria Stamati’s poetry largely corresponds to this definition: her words intrude unexpectedly and craggy and into abrupt correlations, establishing a relation of opposition – a constitutive generator of self-contradictory meaning, but not of a paradox. Similarly to most poets of the last two decades, her poetic system runs the risk of drifting into solutions of convenience, trapping in clever inventiveness, in imaginative imagery, in juggling and pirouetting with words, in a purely formalistic game, forming glossy surfaces with a tenuous statement of truth uniquely and irreplaceably personal.

This danger is very substantially avoided. The style is sharp, with words that sometimes fall like rosary beads, sometimes descend like guillotine blades and sometimes drip like raindrops. Often there are no links between them and they are uttered incongruously. The step at the end of the phrase is welcoming the previous movement and it is giving its meaning in retrospect. With memories of Calvinist sounds and lessons from surrealist expressionism, the overall effect shows that the game is more than a game, and that it does not end in the purely formalistic realm. While words are sparking among them, meanings are interwoven and they peel the dramatic cores from their external elements. The evocative atmosphere does not turn out to be a decoration and an end in itself.

Poetry is not chemistry. Poetry is rather alchemy, where logical contours are broken by the eternal quest for the philosophical stone and Grail. In Maria Stamati’s poetry, each thematic section has its secret gallery to the secret depths of the cave from which, at once vivid and menacing, the breath of the shards emanates.

Yannis Kalioris



Review by Nikos Alexiou

Articulate speech has deeply contributed to the evolution of the human race. But during the infinite number of years, the articulate speech has been proved finite…


Κείμενο Δρ. Νίκος Αλεξίου

Poetry Collection: 12 Womennikos
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