Monday, February 1, 2021







APRILIA ZANK: According to the American poet Robert Frost, “Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.” Can, in your opinion, all thoughts be 'translated' into words?

RANIA ANGELAKOUDI: At first, I would like to thank you for this opportunity to start my interview reading Robert’s Frost thoughts as he is one of my favourite Poets. Yes I really believe that it’s possible although it is both a spiritual and emotional trial until our thoughts become words. You see most of the time our thoughts look like a short film and we have to be skilful to create our words in the way to lead the readers to an ideal world where love, hope, solidarity still survive!


APRIyLIA ZANK: The English romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley once wrote: “Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar.” Can you explain how poetry unveils the hidden beauty of the world?

RANIA ANGELAKOUDI: I can say it is something magical because beauty has got its nest deep into our soul which is covered by our daily routine. Poetry has the key to unlock the door of our emotions and uncover this hidden beauty leading us to another dimension. Life is transparent up there full of euphoria, optimism and positive energy.



APRILIA ZANK: The American poet of English origin W. H. Auden was convinced that, “A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language.” Do you think that poetic language should always be refined and cultivated, or may it also be rough and raw if necessary?


RANIA ANGELAKOUDI: I could say that poetic language is like a silk because it describes with subtlety all aspects of life. Being life so precious and unique a refined and cultivated language is suitable. Otherwise the ‘holy’ purpose of poetry to make the readers to get away from it all will fail. Of course we mustn’t forget that in times of trouble the rough and raw language had spread messages about peace, human rights e.t.c. So poetry is flexible in any case and can be used to support our life.


APRILIA ZANK: Please consider the following statement of the English scholar and poet A. E. Housman: “Even when poetry has a meaning, as it usually has, it may be inadvisable to draw it out... Perfect understanding will sometimes almost extinguish pleasure.” Do you write or prefer explicit poetry with an obvious meaning or message, or rather more cryptic, challenging poetry?

RANIA ANGELAKOUDI: Due to our challenging era humanity face a troublesome reality for this reason I prefer to give clear meanings and don’t make their reading complicated.


APRILIA ZANK: “Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason.”, is a famous quote by the German romanticist and philosopher Novalis. To what extent can poetry have a therapeutic effect?

RANIA ANGELAKOUDI: In the way that gives the opportunity to everyone to express him/herself to discover a new way of communication to dive deeply into his/her soul and find an interesting way of living had never thought before!


APRILIA ZANK: According to Salvatore Quasimodo, an Italian poet and literary critic, “Poetry is the revelation of a feeling that the poet believes to be interior and personal which the reader recognizes as his own.” Is, in your opinion, the poet primarily a personal voice, or rather the echo of his fellow beings?

RANIA ANGELAKOUDI: It is the personal voice. We ought not to forget that we are sharing the same world living our lives in parallel even thought we have different cultures, language and distances may keep us apart. The one is for sure that we have the same feelings of fear, love, happiness, sadness. Poetry can be the personal voice expressing all above.


APRILIA ZANK: The American literary critic M. H. Abrams asserted that, “If you read quickly to get through a poem to what it means, you have missed the body of the poem.” Do you also think readers need to be educated as to how to go through a poem? If 'yes', in which way?

RANIA ANGELAKOUDI: Yes indeed, poetry needs time in order to be understandable otherwise has nothing to offer! I really believe there is no  certain way of education but reading as much as possible. Poetry is like painting the more you paint the better will be.


APRILIA ZANK: Let us now consider the words of the American songwriter and poet Jim Morisson: “If my poetry aims to achieve anything, it's to deliver people from the limited ways in which they see and feel.” Can you please tell us how poetry can be/become educational?

RANIA ANGELAKOUDI: I will answer with another famous song was written by John lennon....

‘Let it be’.


APRILIA ZANK: The British-American poet T. S. Eliot claimed that, “Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.” Do you sometimes/often experience 'love at first sight' for poems that you have not understood immediately/completely?

RANIA ANGELAKOUDI: No, not at all...It is necessary for me to ‘trip’ for a while via the lines. When I can’t understand I can’t go on. Is it possible to be in love with a person we don’t understand or communicate?


APRILIA ZANK: Paul Valéry, a French poet, essayist, and philosopher, said: “A poem is never finished, only abandoned.” Do you also think that the final 'embodiment' of a poem happens in the mind of the reader?

RANIA ANGELAKOUDI: Yes indeed! Sometimes it’s a vicious circle until to the end.


APRILIA ZANK: The famous British-Indian writer Salman Rushdie believes that, “A poet's work is to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, and stop it going to sleep.” Should, in your opinion, poetry have a strong social and/or militant component?


RANIA ANGELAKOUDI: I agree with these thoughts! Although I can’t say it has a strong social or militant component I can say it contributes to any change of the picture of the world. 


APRILIA ZANK: The poetic credo of the highly influential American poet Maya Angelou was the following: “The poetry you read has been written for you, each of you - black, white, Hispanic, man, woman, gay, straight.” Do you also think that your poetry addresses a large and varied audience?


RANIA ANGELAKOUDI: Thank life I had this experience from my very early performances in my country and above the borders when people was gathering and pleasantly gave me a multi-colour, multi-national, multi-aging, multi-religious picture. That’s a valuable gift to feel them all like brothers and sisters because we are brothers and sisters! I can give my promise to go on trying to be adjustable to this varied audience feeling a citizen of the world!


RANIA ANGELAKOUDI lives most of the time in Greece. She was born in a small town in Sweden and dreaming of became a painter. She studied everything about great painters. At the same time she started introducing herself in poetry writing some two or three lyrics as a teenager. Later on at university she studied English Literature and language. This helped her to learn most of the famous international poets. In combination with the Greeks created her own poetic path receiving many international awards such as ’The Icon of World Peace’, gave her the title of Peace Ambassador for her numerous poems dedicated to peace and human rights, The Pride of Globe ’and many other national awards. The most important in 2015 under the auspices of the Italian Ministry of Culture based in Ankona. She was awarded in a special ceremony at Museo della citta as the unique Greek poetess who received this honour. In January 2017 the Association of Journalists Fijet based in France announced her to become a member in honour to her international success. From then she is an active journalist as well in addition to her teaching career. She has contribute work to a number of national and international anthologies. Her books can be found in the central historical libraries in Stockholm at Stadsbiblioteket and Kulture huset.  She is an active environmentalist, supporter of human rights and peace in the world.




Dr. APRILIA ZANK is an educationist, freelance lecturer for Creative Writing and Translation Theory, as well as a multilingual poet, translator, editor from Munich, Germany and an Author of the Poetry book BAREFOOT TO ARCADIA. Born in Romania, she studied English and French Literature and Linguistics at the University of Bucharest, and then moved to Munich, Germany where she received her PhD degree in Literature and Psycholinguistics for her thesis, THE WORD IN THE WORD Literary Text Reception and Linguistic Relativity, from the Ludwig Maximilian University, where she started her teaching career. The research for her PhD thesis was done in collaboration with six universities from Europe, and as a visiting lecturer at Alberta University of Edmonton, Canada. Dr Aprilia writes verses in English and German, French and Romanian and was awarded a distinction at the “Vera Piller” Poetry Contest in Zurich. Her poetry collection, TERMINUS ARCADIA, was 2nd Place Winner at the Twowolvz Press Poetry Chapbook Contest 2013. In 2018, she was awarded the title “Dr. Aprilia Zank – Germany Beat Poet Laureate”, by the National Beat Poetry Foundation (USA). She has been an acclaimed guest at cultural events in Germany, Great Britain, Canada, Turkey, Singapore and Romania, where she read her poems, delivered lectures on various topics. Her poems and articles are published in many ezines and Anthologies of different countries.


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