1 NOVEMBER 1963, Page 7

Seferis the Greek I was delighted that the Nobel Prize

for Literature should have gone to George Seferis, formerly the Greek ambassador here. I last saw him shortly before he left London. With his characteristic interest in young artists, he made

his Embassy available for a recital for a young Greek pianist on his first appearance outside his native country. The recital was followed by an elaborate champagne supper presided over by Madame Seferiades, a person as gentle and kind as her famous husband whose enormous head and squat heavy body could be seen moving around the room as he personally helped people to find food and drink. It was a generous introduction to the London scene for a new young pianist. A writer—a poet particu- larly—could always gain access to him even at times of intense diplomatic activity such as the Cyprus crisis, in the resolution of which he played a not inconsiderable part. He would throw off the preoccupations of his official life to talk for half an hour about literature, illustrating his points with quotations from English and French poetry about which his knowledge was as encyclopmdic as it was about Greek. New poets always fascinated him and I recall his animated appreciation of talents as diverse as Thom Gunn and Ted Hughes.