Ritsos, Iannis

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ritsos, Iannis


Born May 1, 1909, in Monemvasia. Greek poet.

Ritsos’ works began appearing in the communist press in the early 1930’s; they included poems dedicated to K. Marx, the USSR, and the struggling proletariat of other countries. His collections Tractors (1934) and Pyramids (1935) created the figure of the modern revolutionary. While Greece was ruled by the fascists (1936–41), Ritsos published the narrative poems A Song for My Sister (1937), praised by K. Palamas, and The Spring Symphony (1938).

Over the years, Ritsos’ poetic language became more complex. During the fascist occupation he published the collection An Old Mazurka to the Rhythm of the Rain (1942). A participant in the resistance movement, he created images of men fighting courageously for the country’s liberation; examples are found in the collection The Vigil (1954). Ritsos’ poetry is inspired by faith in socialist ideals. The collection Testimony (1967) is distinguished by profound philosophic lyricism.


In Russian translation:
Stikhi. Moscow, 1959.
Izbrannaia lirika. [Moscow] 1968.
Izbrannoe. Moscow, 1973.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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