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.

Seferis Resources:
Thoughts of George Seferis (audio file, in Greek)

Our Sun (a poem)

Award to Roderick Beaton for his translation of Seferis

Seferis in English: a list of translations

Seferis books

Seferis @ Wikipedia,

A Collection of Seferis poems (in English),

Nobel prize page

Cf. Census of English-language translations of Modern Greek Literature