SIX POETS OF MODERN GREECE by

SIX POETS OF MODERN GREECE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This small book containing translations from six modern Greek poets renders an outstanding service to the world of English letters. It proves, among other things, and proves commandingly, the inestimable value a tradition, a mythology and a landscape give to a poet who participates in them, and how they can prevent the poet from lapsing into the modern heresies of undue ""privacy"" and unintelligiblity. The volume presents the work of Constantine Cavafy (earlier introduced by Rae Dalven on Harcourt's list), Anghelos Sikelianos, George Seferis, D.I. Antoniou, Odysseus Elytis and Nikos Gatsos. Of the six Cavafy is perhaps unique and speaks most eloquently to this age. He often writes not of Greece, but of Hellenism- that confusion of many tongues and rubble of once great ideas and monuments which existed in Alexandria where the Greek spirit is preserved only by an everlasting vigil. Sikelianos and Seferis are poets who also communicate and both, if in different ways, are steeped in and use old Greek myth for modern purposes. The last three in the volume may seem slighter and less significant but their purpose and place are illuminated and made plain by the fine introduction by the editors. A book which deserves an appreciative audience.

Pub Date: June 19th, 1961
Publisher: Knopf