The Shade of Homer
In exploring the significance of Homer for the poetry of modern Greece - benign shade or looming shadow? - Dr Ricks is tackling a theme that has implications for the study of poetic influence in general. He takes the work of Sikelianos, Cavafy and Seferis and subjects a selection of poems to a careful scrutiny. These poems are not imitations of Homer but fresh engagements with Homeric themes, and comparison of the modern versions with the original is found to be illuminating for the poets' methods of composition. Dr Ricks does not lose sight of the larger significance of his subject, and modern poets from outside Greece - Eliot and Pound, in particular - find their way into the discussion. All Greek is translated and the reader has no need to be a specialist in modern or in ancient Greek to find this study absorbing and instructive.