(1911 - ) Greek poet. Elytis originally enrolled to study law but gave up his studies to pursue his writing ambitions. It was the body of verse written in the 1950s, specifically To axion esti (1959; translated as The Axion Esti of Odysseus Elytis, 1974) and Hexe kai mia typheis ghia ton ouran ( Six and One Regrets for the Sky, 1960), that established Elytis's reputation internationally. His verse, atmospheric in quality and evocative of the local landscape and climate of Elytis's Aegean island environment, is a fusion of Greek myth, history, and nature with the modern 20th-century consciousness. His is considered one of the most powerful contemporary lyrical voices to emerge from Greece.
In 1979, Elytis was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Two further collections of poetry, Anihta hartia, second edited (1982) and Imeroloyio atheatou Apriliou (1984), have enhanced his reputation for lyrical gracefulness.