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.
“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