The early decades of the twentieth century were particularly chaotic in Greece, but gave rise to the major work of Kostas Karyotakis (1896-1928), a poetry both lush and precise, both tragic and ironic. sometimes considered post-Romantic or an heir to the symbolists, sometimes as either a modernist or a pre-cursor of th post-modern, Karyotakis fits uneasily into our categories. He created an art that, though rooted in the personal and the political, moves far beyond the boundaries of his own life and time. In this work poetry is the necessary but reluctant, almost involuntary response to the swirl around us. "We are just some battered guitars," he wrote. "When the wind blows over us,/it awakens verses and dissonant sounds/on strings that droop like watch chains."