Eros, Eros, Eros: Selected & Last Poems

Odysseas Elytis, Olga Broumas, trans.

In this definitive edition of the work of the Greek Nobel Laureate Odysseas Elytis, poet and translator Olga Broumas has chosen poems from the full range of his career, including his early work when he was associated with the surrealists, to the entirety of his long poem “The Little Mariner,” as well as a previously unavailable selection of his last poems, written shortly before his death in 1996. Elytis himself offers the best description of his poetry: “If a separate personal Paradise exists for each of us, mine must be irreparably planted with trees of words which the wind silvers like poplars, by people who see their confiscated justice given back, and by birds that even in the midst of truth of death insist on singing in Greek and saying eros, eros, eros.” Passionately committed in equal parts to both justice and to a life of imagination, Elytis is truly one of the world’s great poets.

ISBN: 9781556590832

Format: Paperback

About the Author

Odysseas Elytis was born in Crete in 1911 and at age eighteen he heard “a secret voice” that led him to abandon everything for his art. His nom de plume fuses three important Greek concepts: eleftheria (freedom), elpitha (hope), and Eleni (Helen of Troy). His first book was published at the outset of World War II and was followed by a publishing history that spans more than half a century and includes poetry, essays, and translations into Greek from Rimbaud, …

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About the Translator

Olga Broumas was born in Syros, Greece, in 1949 and published her first book there in 1967. After moving to the United States, she received her BA in architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, and her MFA in creative writing from the University of Oregon. Her first book in English, Beginning with O, was selected by Stanley Kunitz for the Yale Younger Poets prize in 1977. Since then she has published seven volumes of solo and collaborative poetry (with T …

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“Culls the brightest and best of the late Nobel laureate… [T]hese versions give an updated view to a long and varied career.” —Publishers Weekly

“This is a poetry of luminosity and resonance, clarity of soul, and deep transformative power. It cannot be imitated. Such work arises out of the language itself, and such a language out of the sea, the rocks, the history and light of Greece, but arises only if such a poet as Elytis is present, and occurs in English only when a translator such as Broumas emerges to assimilate his labor.” —Carolyn Forché

“Olga Broumas has produced a well-balanced version of poems that displays their author with great subtlety. The imagery of these lines flows in a rich and prolonged movement, reaching the ear as closely as is possible for such a complex task of poetic translation.” —Harvard Review

“This English translation, by poet Olga Broumas, has an immediacy and a grace that can bridge any language gap.” —Islands

“An utterly beautiful and wise collection of poems… Broumas has rendered [Elytis’s] poetry as clear as the dazzling Aegean sun.” —Shepherd Express