Farewell Katerina, my old friend

Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke was not only one of modern Greece's greatest poets; she was a first-rate translator of French, English (including, of all things, a translation of Dylan Thomas' "Under Milk Wood") and Russian verse. I have to take that on trust because I don't read Russian, but she told me she thought the best translation she had ever done was of "Eugene Onegin."

Katerina was a woman of extraordinary intelligence, wit, charm and sensitivity, and she drank life to the brim, reveling in her friends, in travel, and the everyday pleasures of eating, drinking and talking. Not to mention sex. No Greek poet ever wrote more explicitly and volubly about the subject. Perhaps because she was left somewhat disfigured by a childhood disease, Katerina worshipped beauty in men, women, in the Greek landscape and the sea. She was also a sharp critic and intimidated me when I was...

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