Μπολιβάρ, by Nikos Engonopoulos:
sculptural monuments and the poetics of praise from Pindar to Abraham Lincoln
This paper explores the Pindaric tradition in Μπολιβάρ. It discusses how the poetics of praise and their function in Pindar’s odes may illuminate the modern poem’s form and aspirations especially as far as the role of the poet within the community is concerned. What is more, the discussion of the sculptural monuments within the poem allows for a better illustration of the tensions that Engonopoulos stages in Μπολιβάρ between the poet as hero and the poet as outcast. The paper also explores the cultural and intellectual circumstances in the decade prior to the publication of the poem that may have led Engonopoulos to choose the figure of Simón Bolívar as the central character of his poem and of Abraham Lincoln as Bolívar’s “double” in the poem’s famous conclusion.