This appears a modest work at first sight, but it is closely linked with the rich Greek tradition of visionary and ritualistic poetry and is multifaceted in its linguistic expression. In contrast to the basically self-referential character of modern poetry, in Whereupon a Plane Tree, as in Boukalas’ previous works, Mournful Signs (1992) and The Diviner (1994), there is a shift from the daily and wholly personal to the symbolic and more broadly mythical. So, from within the dismembered and irregular life of today, the poetic ego envisages its lost archetypal unity and attempts to redefine this unity using a lexical wealth of incredible variety and orgasmic euphoria.
A short glance by the reader is sufficient to convince him that he is dealing with a poet who has a profound knowledge of the age-old linguistic tradition coming from Homer, Solomos and folk poetry down to the modern mystics: Sikelianos and Elytis. As with the latter, so too Boukalas recomposes life from what is dead and vice-versa. Consequently, the parts of this book, “The Root”, “The Water” and “The Fire”, in effect recall a cycle with organic unity.