7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: George Seferis: Complete Poems (Paperback)
Seferis combined a career in the Greek diplomatic service with writing Nobel Prize winning poetry.At breakfast time, most days since Christmas, I have been reading one or two of his poems in translation. What are they like?
Imagine that you are lying on the deck of a boat, half a mile off the coast of a Greek island. The sun is setting. Your friend's conversation interests you, ranging over history, literature, memories, betrayals, aquaintances lost and won.A longish trip is coming to an end, you do not know if you will meet again. The sea laps against the prow of the boat. It is just warm enough for a last swim, before putting in to a remote beach where there is a good taverna. It comes on the radio that there has been an attempted assassination. A seagull settles on the mast, squarking.
These poems are wonderful in English, translated and introduced by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard.There is a short bibliographical note of Seferis's works. It would have been good to have a section on publications about Seferis too. The Notes section is on the brief side. I would have liked fuller, more contextualised poem introductions, but maybe the translators felt that the readers' focus should be on the text, not on the circumstances in which the poet conceived and wrote each poem.The final 'Biographical Data' based on a chronology prepared by Seferis himself should have been placed after the Introduction, in my view, as many of the poems are dated.
This is a wonderful book, beautifully printed and designed. Surely a candidate to be that final choice on Desert Island Discs, that one book, apart from the Bible and Shakespeare, that the castaway would have there.