Giorgos Seferis in Poros | One Day

The life of Giorgos Seferis in Poros

There are not a few people of letters and arts who at some point in their lives retired or chose a place with which they were not necessarily connected by family ties in order to draw strength and inspiration. One of them is Giorgos Seferis. In Poros, the famous poet found the ideal sanctuary after the horrors of the World War and the Civil War. The "Galini" villa was his refuge, which he shared with his great love, Maro. As for Poros, the poet highlighted his greatness through his works.

Giorgos Seferis, his "Galini" and the works

The Nobel Prize-winning Greek poet became famous for his poetic work, but his qualities were much more. Basically a diplomat but also an essayist, poet, photographer, even... a puppeteer. Before ending up in Poros, Seferis had passed through the island with celebrities of the time: Henry Miller, Lucian Freud, John Craxton, all lovers of Greece, the light and the wealth of the country.

Seferis came with Maro to Poros in the summer of 1936, when the two were very much in love. The truth is that Seferis was connected to the island since he was a relative of Iulia Dragoumi to whom "Galini" belonged. That is why he spent many summers there. A Victorian-style villa, grand, painted Pompeian red. Many people passed through "Galini" (around 1000 people), relatives, friends or simply guests, including Eleftherios Venizelos.

From 1940 onwards, Seferis regularly visited Poros. Little by little, the island began to constitute for him a place of intense memories and a source of inspiration for many of his poems and collections. There he wrote his Poriotika Poems, but also "Kichli" in 1946. A poetic composition that was completed on 10/31 of the same year and published a year later. The most difficult work in terms of approach and interpretation.

Poros through the eyes of Seferis

Seferis loved in Poros the incomparable feeling of inhaling the scent of the sea and the pine trees at the same time. He loved the view of "Galini" from which with binoculars he could see the hands of the Clock Tower. He loved the opportunity the island gave him to spend as he pleased according to his tastes. Either isolated in his villa, often with a select few, or leading a vigorous social life. He loved to photograph places and faces, his beloved Maro, the two of them together, the Monastery, Panagitsa in Askeli, the gardens of the villa, the Tombazi estate, the anchor in Neorio. He loved to "plough" the island and capture his most beautiful thoughts from the tranquility of "Galini". He described like few others in his unique style nature and everything he saw with detail and similes that betrayed his intelligent imagination.

The Poros of Seferis was the great canal. He likened it to Venice, as one could go from house to house by boat. It was the means, a passage that he himself wondered where it was leading to, rather than its purpose, one of the stages of his life's journey. It was his oasis during difficult times. It was forgotten with the sea, the pine trees, the goings and goings of the everywhere sailing. And all this in a turbulent period for Greece, but he had the luxury of being safely fortified in his retreat.

Tags: Villa Galini, Giorgos Seferis, art, Poros