Yannis Ritsos

Yannis Ritsos

About Yannis Ritsos

Yiannis Ritsos is considered as one of the five great Greek poets of the twentieth century, together with Konstantinos Kavafis, Kostas Kariotakis, Giorgos Seferis, and Odysseus Elytis. The French poet Louis Aragon once said that Ritsos was the greatest poet of our age. He was unsuccessfully proposed nine times for the Nobel Prize for Literature. When he won the Lenin Peace Prize (also known as the Stalin Peace Prize prior to 1956) he declared this prize is more important for me than the Nobel. His poetry was banned at times in Greece due to his left wing beliefs. Notable works by Ritsos include Tractor (1934), Pyramids (1935), Epitaph (1936), and Vigil (1941–1953). We have selected here a collection of his best poems like Moonlight Sonata and his landmark poem Epitaphios, published in 1936, which broke with the shape of Greek traditional popular poetry and expressed in clear and simple language a message of the unity of all people.

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