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While the poetry of Cavafy, Elytis, Ritsos, and Seferis is readily available to English speakers, Greek women's poetry remains virtually unknown to non-specialists. The Rehearsal of Misunderstanding which includes poems by Rhea Galanaki, Jenny Mastoraki, and Maria Laina, fills a serious gap in contemporary poetry in translation, in general, and in Greek poetry, in particular. Drawing on the formative experience of writing under an authoritarian regime (1967-1974), women poets in the 1980s forged a poetics which unsettled and disrupted fixed meanings and gender roles. Each of the three collections in this anthology rehearses the myriad ways we are misunderstood and misrepresented by others and ourselves. Like recent American language poetry by women which draws on the work of Emily Dickinson and Gertrude Stein, these series of interwoven poems transform hermeticism into a feminine survival strategy for recognizing how meaning is lost, disfigured, or denied. Van Dyck's command of the subtleties of Greek language and poetry is masterful. The work she has done in bringing these three Greek poets into English is seasoned, thorough, informed by history and passion, and captures with astonishing flair their very different qualities visions, temperaments, vocabularies, and intents. -- Olga Broumas
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