The Companions in Hades

By George Seferis 1900–1971 George Seferis

Translated By Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard

fools, who ate the cattle of Helios Hyperion;
but he deprived them of the day of their return.

Odyssey

Since we still had some hardtack
how stupid of us
to go ashore and eat
the Sun’s slow cattle,

for each was a castle
you’d have to battle
forty years, till you’d become
a hero and a star!

On the earth’s back we hungered,
but when we’d eaten well
we fell to these lower regions
mindless and satisfied.

George Seferis, "The Companions in Hades" from Collected Poems (George Seferis). Translated, edited, and introduced by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard. Copyright © 1995 by George Seferis.  Reprinted by permission of Princeton University Press.

Source: George Seferis: Collected Poems (Princeton University Press, 1995)

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Poet George Seferis 1900–1971

POET’S REGION Greece

Subjects Heroes & Patriotism, Mythology & Folklore, Greek & Roman Mythology

 George  Seferis

Biography

Greek poet George Seferis was born Georgios Seferiades in Urla, near Smyrna (now Izmir, Turkey). He worked as a diplomat for the Royal Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs and received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1963. His collections of poetry include Strophe (Turning Point, 1931), E Sterna (The Cistern, 1932), Mythistorima (1935), and Logbook I, Logbook II, and Logbook III (1940, 1945, 1955). In 1914, Seferis and his family . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Heroes & Patriotism, Mythology & Folklore, Greek & Roman Mythology

POET’S REGION Greece

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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