In exploring the significance of Homer for the poetry of modern Greece - benign shade or looming shadow? - Dr Ricks is tackling a theme that has implications for the study of poetic influence in general. In this 1989 book, he takes the work of Sikelianos, Cavafy and Seferis and subjects a selection of poems to a careful scrutiny. These poems are not imitations of Homer but fresh engagements with Homeric themes, and comparison of the modern versions with the original is found to be illuminating for the poets' methods of composition. Dr Ricks does not lose sight of the larger significance of his subject, and modern poets from outside Greece - Eliot and Pound, in particular - find their way into the discussion. All Greek is translated and the reader has no need to be a specialist in modern or in ancient Greek to find this study absorbing and instructive.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Homer and the modern Greek poets
Part I. Homer in the New Greece: The Spirit and
the Letter: 1. Kalvos and Solomos
2. Archaism and kleftism
Part II. Sikelianos: 4. The Homeric inheritance
5. Greek romanticism comes of age
6. Beyond Homer
Part III. Cavafy: 7. Modes of misquotation
8. Ancient days
9. Homer into history
Part IV. Seferis: 10. Scholia
12. Homer and the poetic vocation
13. Beyond the folk tradition
14. Spirit and letter in 'The King of Asine'