When Odysseus Elytis was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, the Swedish Academy's citation singled out "The Axion Esti", first published in 1959, as 'one of twentieth-century literature's most concentrated and richly faceted poems.' It can be seen both as a secular oratorio, reflecting the Greek heritage and the country's revolutionary spirit, and also as a kind of autobiography, in which the spiritual roots of the poet's very individual sensibility are set in the wider philosophical context of the Greek tradition. In his evocation of eternal Greece, his vision of the war and its aftermath, and his concluding celebration of human life, Elytis is a true voice of our age A- a deeply personal lyric poet who speaks for humanity at large.
The Axion Esti
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