Derek Walcott’s staged encounter with George Seferis, by explicit invocation, in his poem “From This Far” (1980) is a nearly unprecedented instance of postcolonial confrontation with Greek antiquity, not through the conventional avenues of colonial classicism but through the wayward paths of Greek modernity. It therefore presents a rare opportunity for a series of reconsiderations of the tension between the poetic and the political, whether the co-incidence between Philhellenism and Orientalism that makes possible the colonization of the Hellenic ideal or the incapacity of the poetics of “world literature” to engage the ever-changing vicissitudes of postcolonial globality.

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