The progress of poesy: Kalvos, Gray and the revival of ancient literary language

David Ricks


Kalvos' poetry is, to an unusually high degree, based on what, as he saw it, "the age demanded" < 1 His command of Greek, ancient or modern, was far from flawless, his sensitivity to language greater than his reading: we are not talking here of a Hellenist of the calibre of a Leopardi or a HOlderlin. Kalvos' decision to write his odes in Greek was undoubtedly a self-imposed handicap, gladly assumed in order to aid the national cause.


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