Angelos Sikelianos (1884–1951)

Angelos Sikelianos (1884–1951) is one of the most prominent poets and a main representative of the modern European lyricism. He was born in Lefkada and he was descended from a noble family. After the secondary school he came to Athens to study the science of law, but he deserted his post because he was fascinated by poetry. He got married with the rich American archaeologist Eva Kotland, who was a valuable assistant as it concerns his creative work .Both of them loved passionately the Greek mythology and history, and they create a common ideal of life and act. Angelos Sikelianos was totally supported and assisted by his wife, so he felt ready to begin the realization of his bold scheme with regard to the “Delphic Idea”. He worked superhumanly for the revival of the Delphic (pacifistic) spirit and for the organization of art shows to the holly place of ancient Delphi (1927-1930).

Because of many obstacles and the complete lack of assistance from the state, the Delphic celebrations remained only as a vision. In spite of all that, they had given an impulsion to the projection of the ancient tragedy and, widely, of the spiritual Greece.

Sikelianos’ first poetic work is “The Light-Shadowed” (1909).His great creative period starts with his second work “Preface to life” and continues to the works “Verses” (1920), “Greek’s Easter” (1922), the collections “Of the borders” (1940-1941) and “Holy bread”. Sikelianos collected his poetic creation during the whole of his life-time and he managed to compose a three-volume work with the title: “Lyric Life” (1946).

Apart from the poems, Sikelianos had written the tragedies: “Rose’s Dithyramb” (1932), “Daedalus in Crete” (1943), “Sibylla” (1944), “Christ in Rome” (1946) and “Digenis’ death” (1944).

Sikelianos was influenced by the war and the foreign occupation and his interest was set toward the problems and the anxiety of his compatriots. He had taken part actively in subjects that occupied the enslaved people. Moreover, he participated at the editing of secret patriotic newspapers and he used to issue manuscripts full of poems which inspired the faith for the last victory of the nation. His work’s value had been recognized by the foreign poets all over the world and convinced the specialists to translate his unique poetic creations. It is really important to mention that Aggelos Sikelianos did not become an academician and furthermore, he had never been honored with a Nobel award.

The last years of his life he was affected by a serious disease but fortunately he had his second wife’s comprehension and support through his constant try to stay alive. He died on 19th of June in 1951 at the age of 68.