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By George Seferis
Translated by Rex Warner
Boston: Nonpareil Books, 1960
ISBN # 0-87923-281-1
127 pages

Comments by Bob Corbett
August 2013

I have found myself in a rather frustrating place in regards to my reading of George Safaris’ poetry. I can relate with delight to many of the images in his poetry. I had the joy and privilege of several visits to Greece, a couple of them fairly long. I not only visited the areas of the sea and several islands, but even drove into the mountains and very rural areas.

Thus many of the images which Seferis uses touched me as being as I experienced them. The sea, ocean, islands, sun, sand, heat, the food, wine, good cheer in the restaurants. I even visited the same black sand nude beach on Santorini about which he writes. These images and more I could appreciate in his poetry.

On the other hand, I almost never knew what ANY whole poem was “about.” He seems to couple the images with other language that was about things going on in his mind or experience, but I had no idea what he was talking about.

I almost always have a book of poetry “going.” I read them in bits and pieces, going to my current poetry book when I have a few minutes to spare, but not a long time to sit and read for an hour or two. That’s primarily how I read poetry; in bits and pieces. Further, I am used to reading a short poem, delighting in it and racing into to where my partner Sally is working at her computer and saying: “Sally, you just have to hear this. . .” and I will read some poem or other to her, laughing with the clever and funny ones, having tears run down my face as I read the more powerful and touching poetry, or just delighting in the profundity and images of another. Yet, I’m sad to say that one measure of my response to Seferis’ poetry is that I’m finished the volume and haven’t yet read a single poem to her, not even a part of a poem.

I had much the same difficulty with Seferis’ friend and fellow poet of the same Greek “movement,” Odysseus Elytis, except that I was very moved by one poem he wrote about the Greeks at war against the Italians in Albania early in WWII. I did read aloud from that poem to Sally, but was not as moved by any poems in Seferis’ volume.

Bob Corbett


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Bob Corbett