George (or Georgios) Seferis was born Georgios Seferiades in Urla, near Smyrna (now Izmir, Turkey) in 1900. His father was a lawyer and later a university professor, as well as being a translator and poet. He also favorured the use of demotic Greek (the Greek used in the spoken language) over katharevousa, the formal and official version of Greek. After secondary education, Seferis went to France, where he studied law at the Sorbonne. While he was in France, the Turks invaded Smyrna and Seferis’ family, like many other Greeks, had to flee.
On return from Paris, he joined the Greek foreign ministry and had a long career as a diplomat, ending up as Greek Ambassador in London. During all of this time, Seferis was writing poetry, often influenced by Homer and by his own exile and wanderings. It is as a poet that he will be remembered and for which he won the Nobel Prize in 1963. However, he also worked on five novel projects, though only completed one. He died in 1971.
Books about George Seferis
Roderick Beaton: George Seferis: Waiting for the Angel
(Only works published in English)
1948 The King of Asine and Other Poems
1966 On the Greek Style: Selected Essays on Poetry and Hellenism
1974 Έξι νύχτες στην Ακρόπολη (Six Nights on the Acropolis)
1975 Μέρες του 1945 – 1951 (A Poet’s Journal: Days of 1945–1951)
1981 Complete Poems
1995 Complete Poems
2007 A Levant Journal