As those of you at the event must have sensed – and as I discovered when doing my research on the poet a few months ago – Ritsos is a very unusual presence in the “Pantheon” of poets from Modern Greece. Compared with all the other figures we’ve focused on over the years (Palamas, Varnalis, Elytis, Seferis, Cavafy, Kavvadias, Karyotakis, Sikelianos, Kazantzakis, etc.), he is by far the one that most closely fits the definition “artistic genius”: the breadth and depth of his work is simply amazing, and as such it will continue to be a newly discovered treasure trove for decades to come.
I think it was fortunate that we were able to explore and honor this poet at this time juncture. His work, thinking, and outlook to life are especially relevant to the uncertain times that Greece is going through, as they form a kaleidoscopic counterpoint – an extra dimension as we explain in the presentation – to the vagaries, everyday pettiness and doses of despair generated by the present circumstances of Greece.
So, I hope you can enjoy the presentation time and again, and be transported to the magnanimous soul of Ritsos: