Night for Day in the Antipodes. "Australian Passport: English-Greek Edition" by S.S. Charkianakis. [review]
It is perhaps ironic that, at a time when the Church and government of Greece are locked in battle over retention of the statement of religious affiliation on identity cards, the Greek Orthodox Primate of Australia, S.S. Charkianakis, should publish a collection of poems with distinctive religious undertones under the title "Australian Passport". The cover of the book makes little attempt to reinforce this title by visual approximation of an Australian passport - an arrangement of dry gumleaves stands in the place of the official insignia - but the datelines appended to both the Greek poems and their facing English translations might conceivably suggest passport stamps. More immediately, though, these coordinates of time and place recall the poetic 'logbooks' of another career-exile, the diplomat George Seferis, except that, curiously, the dates given here are in English even under the Greek poems.