Angelos Sikelianos

Angelos Sikelianos:
Selected Poems

Second Bilingual Edition

Translated by Edmund Keeley & Philip Sherrard

Angelos Sikelianos (1884–1951) is generally recognized as the most important Greek poet between Cavafy and Seferis. This selection of his poetry, first published by Princeton University Press almost thirty years ago, still remains the only collection in English in volume form; both the English and Greek texts of this present edition have been amended. Included in here are works from the full range of the poet's career and in his several voices — those of the lyricist, the narrator, the seer.

The volume also offers samples of the poet’s varied forms, from sonnets to longer narrative and reflective poems, each rendered in a metrical equivalent. An introduction outlines the principal stages of the poet’s development as thinker and craftsman in relation to the particular translations included.

For Sikelianos everything in the natural and visible world, when rightly perceived, is an expression of a supernatural and invisible order of reality. The task of the prophet, sage and poet is to reconcile the one world with the other, to heal the dichotomy between them through an act of creative mediation. With this in mind, Sikelianos uses myth not as a rhetorical device but as a mode for revealing the eternal divinities that inhabit the physical world. In his late poems, myth becomes the agency for uniting his subjective and narrative voices into a sublime tragic vision.

‘The present selection of Sikelianos's poetry . . . approaches, perhaps to the greatest degree possible, the rhythm and power of the Greek original.'’ Thanassis Maskaleris, The Hellenic Journal.

‘The translators beautifully capture the numinous and heroic quality of the poet.’ Mary Renault.

  • 146 pages, 20.5 x 13.2 cm, 1996
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