Biography of Odysseas Elytis
Odysseas Elytis (November 2, 1911 – March 18, 1996) was regarded as a major exponent of romantic modernism in Greece and the world. In 1979 the Nobel Prize in Literature was bestowed on him.
Descendant of the Alepoudellis, an old industrial family from Lesbos, Elytis was born in Heraklion on the island of Crete, on November 2, 1911. His family later moved to Athens, where the poet graduated from high school and later attended courses as an auditor at the Law School at University of Athens.
In 1935 Elytis published his first poem in the journal New Letters at the prompting of such friends as George Seferis. His entry with a distinctively earthy and original form assisted to inaugurate a new era in Greek poetry and its subsequent reform after the Second World War.
From 1969–1972, under the Greek military junta of 1967–1974, Elytis exiled himself to Paris. He was romantically linked to the lyricist and musicologist Mariannina Kriezi, who subsequently produced and hosted the legendary children's radio broadcast "Here Lilliput Land". Elytis was intensely private and vehemently solitary in pursuing his ideals of poetic truth and experience.
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Odysseas Elytis Poems
MARIA NEFELE: I walk in thorns in the dark of what's to happen and what has with my only weapon my only defense
The Little Mariner
Spotlight a SCENE ONE: Open-air court in the ancient city of Athens. The accused arrive and proceed among curses and cries of Death! Death!
Beauty and the Illiterate
Often, in the Repose of Evening her soul took a lightness from the mountains across, although the day was harsh and tomorrow foreign.
Freely beside me the vineyards are running and unbridled Remains the sky. Wildfires trade pinecones and one Donkey bolts uphill for a little cloud
I walk in thorns in the dark
of what's to happen and what has
with my only weapon my only defense
my nails purple like cyclamens.
I saw her everywhere. Holding a glass and staring in space. Lying down
listening to records. Walking the streets in wide trousers and an old