CM: Takis Sinopoulos (1917-1981) was a Greek author and a leading figure among the first postwar generation of Greek poets. He was born at Avgoulinitsa of Pyrgos Ilias, and was the first son of the philologist George Sinopoulos and Roussa-Veneta Argyropoulou. He studied medicine at the University of Athens and graduated in 1944. In 1934 he published the poem Betrayal and the novel The Revenge of a Humble Man in Pyrgos' newspaper 'Nea Imera' under the pseudonym 'Argyros Roubanis'. In 1941 he was mobilized as a medical sergeant, while during the German Occupation (1941-1944) he published translations of French poets as well some essays on poetry. In 1942 he was imprisoned for a short period by the Italians for his involvement in the resistance, while during the Civil War (1945-1949) he served as a doctor in the infantry. After the Civil War he began to work as a doctor in Athens . In 1951 he published his first collection of poems entitled Borderland. Sinopoulos came under the influence especially of T.S. Eliott, Seferis and Ezra Pound. In general his poetry is lyrical, epigrammatic and characterized by self-knowledge and pessimism. In the last period of his life a change was noted in his use of language towards an anti-lyrical, aggressive and often ironical discourse. He bequeathed a great part of his library to the University of Thessaloniki . His principal publications include the following: No Man's Land (1952); Songs (1953); The Meeting with Marx (1956); Helen (1958); Night and Counterpoint (1959); The Song of Joanna and Constantine (1961 , which received the National Poetry Award ); The Poetry of Poetry (1964); Deathfeast (1972); Stones (1972); Chronicle (1975); The Map (1977); The Book of Night (1978). Alongside his poetry, he was an astute and prolific critic as well as a talented painter, and his encouragement help launch the very much younger poets who became known as the generation of the seventies. Takis Sinopoulos died in 1981 in Nea Ionia. In 1995 is wife, Maria Dota, bequeathed his residence to the Municipality of Nea Ionia with a view to house the 'Takis Sinopoulos Foundation'.
Dimitris Armakolas was acquanited with Sinopoulos through his biography and his writings. He was a man of action with cultural concerns. Armakolas was moved by Sinopoulos' passion for literature beyond his specialization in medicine. Having had personal experiences of the wars Sinopoulos is the representative par excellence of existentialist though in postwar poetry. Therefore he and his work respond in many respects to the criteria of the postwar period. His whole poetical outlook and orientation spring from and reference all the consequences of war in human psychism and the destiny of humanity. Having this in mind, Armakolas got into the essence of Sinopoulos' personality, and represented him slightly larger than life, in his familiar guise with a moustache. He wears his favorite jacket on top of an opened shirt and on his left hand he brandishes his ideas in his poetry. Wishing to give new breath in the tradition of busts, the artist decided to introduce daring novelties, such as the breakage of the base and the fragmentary incorporation of the left hand holding the book of poetry, which characterizes the sitter. In particular the breakage of the base gives the feeling that the bust is a part of a whole statue, of which only this part survives. The sense of furthering the already existing tradition is clear in the following phrase by Armakolas: "what I make may be ideas and words that have been uncovered in past earthquakes". Many of this bust's parts have been rendered in an intentionally unaffected manner. Besides, Armakolas' art is - as known - based on the idea of the combination of opposites, which is in keeping with Heraklitus' view about life. This condition suggests that contrast yields progress. In the case of the present bust the composition concerns sculptural qualities, which combine tender and rough treatment, smooth and wild surface, soft and hard workmanship. The bronze Bust of Poet Takis Sinopoulos by Armakolas adorns the square outside the Foundation at 22 Takis Sinopoulos Street in Nea Ionia, Athens. The American College of Greece is privileged to keep this sculpture's plaster cast.
[Megakles Rogakos 04/2007]
ROGAKOS, MEGAKLES Silent Dialogues: Multimedia Portraits Throughout Time 2008 The American College of Greece - ACG Art, Athens