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Poetry in the first decade following Greek independence and the establishment of the Greek state has received comparatively scarce attention. It looked to models of European Romanticism and the aesthetic of a folksong tradition, but it has often been seen as a short-lived moment in the development towards the rigidity of an "Athenian Romantic School," rather than being singled out for its remarkably fluid character. The early poetry of A.R. Rangavis, it is argued here, shares with its European counterparts a display of self-awareness of the poet, as modern and Romantic, and his role vis-à-vis his environment that in turn reflects the indeterminacy and ambivalence inherent in this role. Rangavis's ambivalent imagery of solitude and deserted nature is an integral part of his understanding of the poetic and social persona of the Greek writer, in a period where new (young) authors deliberately set themselves up as contributing to a national literature in a national context.