Books: Of Man & Statues

COLLECTED POEMS, 1924-1955 by George Seferis. 490 pages. Princeton University Press. $10.

On the eve of World War II, Greek Poet George Seferis took the measure of impending events and sadly quoted Germany's pre-Romantic Poet Friedrich Holderlin: "What is the use of poets in a mean-spirited time?" Now Seferis provides his own answer in his Collected Poems. Greece's only Nobel prizewinner is a deeply civilized and profoundly Greek man who draws on the whole heritage of his people, their literature, their myths and legends, their wariness born of defeat and exile, their toughness born of a stubborn struggle for survival....

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