Certain of the poems in this book were written literally with the blood of the man who - on August 13th 1968 - made the valiant attempt to free Greece from the ridiculous Chief of the Colonels' dictatorship. In the course of the court martial proceedings, when Alexandros Panagoulis was sentenced to death (twice!), he taunted his would-be executioners:
"I know what verdict is in store for me. The most beautiful swan-song of the freedom-fighter is the deathrattle in front of the firing squad of a tyranny..."
Throughout five black years in total isolation, buried alive in a prison-cell as dark as a tomb, Alekos Panagoulis' only oxygen, his one and only means of surviving was to write these poems, even when he was forced to use a matchstik for a pen and his own blood for ink.
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