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Michalis Pashiardis’ nightmarish poem “Nicosia, Evening, 15.7.74” (The Ways of Poetry II, Nicosia 1976) is one of the most accomplished poetic responses to the coup d’etat against President and Archbishop Makarios III on July 15, 1974. The poem captures the sudden metamorphosis of the island’s capital from the Mediterranean paradise of the poet’s youth to a hellish maze of narrow streets where childlike adults brandishing real weapons are now “playing death”:


Nicosia tonight is not

the town of summer sweet

of the afternoon that lit the stars

the one we knew till yesterday

whose dew we drank in a glass.

Tonight, in the narrow streets they play death

Each corner, fire and struggle.

Nicosia tonight fights

and falls.