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The Collected Poems of Odysseus Elytis Hardcover – 4 Aug 1997

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 4 Aug 1997
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 640 pages
  • Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press (4 Aug. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801849241
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801849244
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 16.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,643,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


"An abundant volume of poems that deserves a place not only in the major libraries of the English-speaking world but in the private libraries of those lovers of poetry who have no Greek and whose interest in the best contemporary verse extends beyond the boundaries of their local tradition." -- Edmund Keeley, Times Literary Supplement

Book Description

Surreal imagery and a remarkable variety of forms capture the natural, sun-soaked beauty of Greece and give voice to the contemporary Greek -- and to a more universally human -- consciousness.

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Format: Hardcover
What a pleasure now to have the complete poems of Odysseus Elytis, the Greek winner of the 1979 Nobel Prize in Literature, thoughtfully and sensitively translated by the American poet Jeffrey Carson and the Greek musician Nikos Sarris. Elytis was born on Crete in 1911. His family was from Lesbos, the island of another great poet, Sappho, and Elytis often vacationed there. Carson and Sarris both live on Paros, and it is no doubt their familiarity with the nuances of Aegean sun and sea, and their love for that harsh clarity, that gives them insights into Elytis' poetry. The erotic and the sea are themes that Elytis pursues throughout his long life. (He died in 1996.) Eros is love, sensual love, for the kore, the young woman who appears in his poems; she is a muse, and she also embodies the truth that resides within, and beyond, the familiar things of the world-in particular, the archipelago, the sun-drenched world of the Aegean, of Greece. Any translation of poetry may be suspect, but these translations are not only faithful to the Greek but harmonious with the music and the spirit of the original. Elytis encouraged and approved Carson's and Sarris' twenty-year labor of love and diligence, begun in the late '70's when Elytis happened upon some poems of Carson's. Carson, already an admirer of Elytis' poetry, had written, in Greek, a series of notes on Elytis' work, which Elytis arranged to have published. Elytis encouraged Carson and Sarris to capture the flavor, rather than the literalness, of his poetry, but they found that a literal translation in fact best captured the spirit of Elytis' verse. Carson's Introduction and Notes provide informative and concise guidance to the reader new to Elytis.Read more ›
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By A Customer on 19 Sept. 2001
Format: Hardcover
Odysseus Elytis (1911 -1996) was a very gifted Greek poet who dedicated his life to a love of hope, beauty, freedom and Greek tradition conveyed in words and imagery that leave the reader thirsting for more. It is this insatiable thirst for droplets of human comfort during life's anguished moments and visionary beauty which together give rise to rainbows of hope that is shared by people of all cultures that has made Elytis a "poete sans frontiers", or a poet without borders.
The Collected Poems of Odysseus Elytis published in 1997 is the first collection of the entire body of poetry of Elytis in any language, including Greek. The translations by Jeffrey Carson and Nikos Sarris do justice to the original poems, providing the reader with the same captivating lyricism and surreal imagery used by Elytis to give voice to the universally human consciousness.
The poetry of Elytis gained the attention of the Swedish Academy which announced in 1979 that Odysseus Elytis had been awarded the Nobel Prize in literature "for his poetry, which, against the background of Greek tradition, depicts with sensuous strength and intellectual clear sightedness modern man's struggle for freedom and creativeness."
Another honorable recognition was bestowed upon Elytis in 1964 when the renown Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis set Elytis' epic poem The Axion Esti to music and the resulting music and lyrics became so popular that today many Greeks know at least part of the song by heart. The Axion Esti was considered to be the poet's most ambitious poem and was described by the Swedish Academy as "one of twentieth century literature's most concentrated and ritually faceted poems".
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Format: Hardcover
An awesome book, but readers should be aware that the "collected" in the title is somewhat misleading. "Collected", yes, "complete", no. In August 1998 _Eros, Eros, Eros : Selected and Last Poems_ by Elytis (his real name was Odysseus Alepoudhelis, by the way) was published, containing his last poems.
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