Odysseas Elytis was born in Crete in 1911. His nom de plume fuses three important Greek concepts, always present in his poetry: elefthería (freedom), elpitha (hope), and Eléni (Helen of Troy). His first book was published at the outset of World War II, followed by publications spanning more than half a century. The author of some of the most innovative and influential original poetry of this century, Elytis was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1979. He died in Greece in 1996.