Although he received the Nobel prize, George Seferis is not among the greatest poets of Modern Greece, such as Solomos, Cavafy, or Papatsonis. He is better in essays and notes, but his poems are the works of a man who wanted to become a poet.
In one of his finest achievements, which is this apophthegm, Seferis writes: “As pines keep the shape of the wind even when the wind has fled and is no longer there, so words guard the shape of man even when man has fled and is no longer there.”
The shapes guarded by Seferis’ poems lack the power that makes a great poem, the creative passion which leads in a necessary form, when words and phrases have an irreplaceable identity grasping ideas of supreme clarity.
Thoughts of George Seferis (audio file, in Greek)
Our Sun (a poem)