On September 21, 1971, Greek poet and Noble Laureate in Literature (1963) George Seferis, died after long illness. Henry Miller, wrote about him, in “The Colossus of Maroussi” that he is the man “who has caught the spirit of eternality which is everywhere in Greece and who has embedded it in his poems. … He is from Smyrna originally but has lived abroad for many years. He is languorous, suave, vital and capable of surprising feats of strength and agility …. He is passionate about his own country, his own people, not in a hidebounf chauvinistic way, but as a result of patient discovery, following upon years of absence abroad….”
As a small tribute, a few words from his acceptance speech, in Stockholm.
“I belong to a small country. A rocky promontory in the Mediterranean, it has nothing to distinguish it but the efforts of its people, the sea, and the light of the sun. It is a small country but its tradition is immense and has been handed down through the centuries without interruption. The Greek language has never ceased to be spoken. It has undergone the changes that all living things experience, but there has never been a gap. This tradition is characterized by love of the human; justice in its norm. In the tightly organized classical tragedies the man who exceeds his measure is punished by the Erinyes. And this norm of justice holds even in the realm of nature….”
The Foundation for Hellenic Culture will have a presentation by professor Diskin Clay, “Seferis’ Delphi:1961”, on October 2, at 7 p.m. Slides will accompany the lecture. FHC is located at 7 West, 57 Street, NY. For info, 212-3086908.