During this century the Greek world has produced a wealth of poetry that is as astonishing in its scope as it is in its vigour; and this anthology brings together a selection from the works of the five poets who may be said to take pride οf place in substantiating this achievement. Two of them (George Seferis and Odysseus Elytis) are Nobel Laureates, Cavafy is certainly one of the most ubiquitous poets of our times, the oracular grandeur of Angelos Sikelianos companions him with W. Β. Yeats, while Nikos Gatsos, less known outside Greece, is a fine lyrical poet and song writer .
The poems in this selection are for the most part taken from the translators' more ample volumes of translations of Greek poetry, namely, their "George Seferis: Collected poems", of which Peter Levi wrote,"I doubt if we shall ever see translations as wonderfully full of Seferis as these"; their "C. Ρ. Cavafy: Collected poems", described by Stephen Spender as "a prayer fulfilled"; their "Angelos Sikelianos: Selected poems", and their "Odysseus Elytis: Selected poems". They have been chosen as those that translate most successfully intο English and at the same time are representative of the best work of the original poets.
"The arrival of Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard οn the modern Greek translation scene marks quite a definite and definative stage of a process; the excellence of their work is really worthy of recognition ..." (Lawrence Durrell, The New York Times Book Review).