Have Ithaca Always in Your Mind: A Tribute to Professor Maskaleris

Friday, March 04, 2016
HUFFINGTON POST -- Some people call America a melting pot, and perhaps it is. Migrants to America struggle with their traditions. Some embrace America immediately and, like the Poseidonians, erase their culture. Others try to marry the two traditions. A telling example of saving the phenomena of both cultures comes from the poetry of Thanasis Maskaleris. His book, “My Life on the Ragged Paths of Pan,” is testimony of a life in perpetual struggle. Maskaleris came to America in the 1950s from Arkadia, Peloponnesos, home of the gods, especially Pan, beautiful villages, countless olive trees and mountains. He studied literature and taught comparative literature at San Francisco State University, where he was also instrumental in the creation of the Center for Modern Greek Studies. But Maskaleris is fundamentally a poet speaking in the often-illuminating language of poetry. His book includes original poems and translations from some of the most insightful of modern Greek poets.