18 March: Tribute to Odysseas Elytis

OV Digital Desk
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Odysseas Elytis

Odysseas Elytis (2 November 1911 – 18 March 1996) was a Greek poet. He is widely regarded as one of the most important Greek poets of the 20th century. In recognition of his literary contributions, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1979.

Life and Career

He was born on 2 November 1911, in Heraklion, Crete. He received his primary education in Crete. He then attended high school in Athens and went on to study law at the University of Athens. However, he never completed his law degree, as he was more interested in literature and the arts.

During his time at the University of Athens, Elytis was involved in a literary group called the “Pneuma”, which was associated with the surrealist movement. This group had a significant influence on his writing and helped shape his unique style.

Elytis was also self-taught in art and became an accomplished painter, often incorporating his own artwork into his poetry books.

He was known for his innovative use of language and his exploration of themes related to Greek history, culture, and mythology. His poetry is marked by a deep sense of spirituality and a profound connection to the natural world.

Some of his most famous works include “Axion Esti,” “The Axion Esti Trilogy,” “The Sovereign Sun,” and “The Light Tree and the Fourteenth Beauty.”

Elytis’s work has been translated into many languages and has had a significant impact on Greek culture and literature.

In addition to his literary work, Elytis was also involved in politics and served as a cultural attaché for the Greek government. He was a vocal advocate for the preservation of Greece’s cultural heritage and a supporter of the European Union.

He died on 18 March 1996, in Athens, Greece.


He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1979.

Elytis also received many other awards and honors throughout his career, including the National Poetry Prize of Greece and the French Legion of Honor.

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