The surgery of inner heavens
Achilles’ poetry is unique, very compact and concise, painstakingly weighing the value of every word both in itself and as an invaluable part of an organic whole. He takes the reader on deeply personal journeys with philosophical and religious undertones, dabbling with mythology and history in the process. The poems of this collection are on a time crossroad, oscillating between the ancient world and the modern political landscape. They explore the eternal trappings of love and death but also touch on the migration crisis and the recent Greek sociopolitical affairs. The continuous interplay between past and present, myth and reality as well as the presence of universal prototypes, such as the mother figure, guide the readers towards a journey of self-exploration, social criticism and profound understanding of the concepts of citizenship and humanity and their eternal interconnection.
Mapping an inner cosmogony out of the primeval elements of both the Ancient Greek world such as the sea god Nereus and the Judeo-Christian theology of the First Man and Woman, the Protoplastoi, this collection has a cathartic effect on the reader.
What I admire and enjoy the most in Achilles’ poems is their startling images of Doric precision and their powerful evocation of profound feeling and poignant observation. Even though “words are incapable of finding veins in lilies”, the poems in this collection bring to life as vivid as ever Circe, Oedipus, Teiresias, Medea and place them in a harmonious co-existence with the religious figures of Isaac, Lazarus, Saul and even the Word Himself. It is this dialogue that ultimately captures the agony of contemporary crises, the fragmented reality they create and the plethora of interpretations and lessons that derive from them.