The Free Besieged

The Free Besieged

By Dionysios Solomos

Introduction by Peter Mackridge

Price: £11.00

ISBN: 978-1-910323-32-8

128 pages, paperback, 171x260mm, Second edition

Dionysios Solomos (1798–1857) is considered to be Greece’s national poet. His best-known poem, the “Hymn to Liberty” (1823), became the Greek national anthem. More importantly, Solomos was the first Greek poet of European stature since the seventeenth century. He came on the scene during the flowering of Romanticism and was a near contemporary of a number of European Romantic poets, such as Byron, Shelley, Keats, Heine, Manzoni, Leopardi, Hugo and Pushkin.

Solomos’ mature poetry is fascinating for its philosophical themes and for the poet’s never-ending struggle for expression. His greatest poems were never completed. Although he did not deliberately leave them unfinished, his reluctance to complete them sprang from a Romantic desire to transcend limits and avoid fixed form. “The Free Besieged”, in particular, is an “organic” poem: its twenty-year gestation followed the development of the poet’s philosophical outlook and poetic technique. This volume brings together for the first time a representative selection of Solomos’ mature work in an entirely new edition of the original poems and in readable English translations.

In this second edition some minor points in the Greek and Italian text of the poems have been corrected, but the translations remain the same.
Peter Mackridge is Emeritus Professor of Modern Greek at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of St Cross College. He is the author of Dionysios Solomos (1989).