On March 28, 1969 George Seferis, Greece’s most important modern poet, made a statement on BBC World Service which has come to be known as “The Statement of 1969.” Calling for the end of the Regime of the Colonels which had seized power in 1967, his simple statement was only four words. “This anomaly must end.” He died in 1971 and did not see the end of the junta in 1974.
George Seferis was a career diplomat and ambassador to the UK from 1957 to 1962. His poetry forges a connection between modern Greece and ancient Hellenic culture. A portion of his poem Mythistorema was read in the Opening Ceremony of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games:
I woke with this marble head in my hands;
It exhausts my elbows and I don’t know where to put it down.
It was falling into the dream as I was coming out of the dream.
So our life became one and it will be very difficult for it to separate again.
This is an image Medea killing one of her sons from an ancient Greek amphora, ca. 330 BC. It is in the Campana Collection of the Louvre and has been released into the public domain.