Kostes/Kostis Palamas (1859-1943) was a Greek poet and journalist. He published his first collection of verses, The Songs of My Fatherland, in 1886. He wrote the words to the Olympic Hymn, composed by Spyros Samaras. He has been called the "national" poet of Greece and was closely associated with the struggle to rid Modern Greece of the "purist" language and with political liberalism. He dominated literary life for 30 or more years and greatly influenced the entire political-intellectual climate of his time. Romain Rolland considered him the greatest poet of Europe and he was twice nominated for the Nobel Prize for poetry but never received it. His most important poem The Twelve Words of the Gypsy (1907) is a poetical-philosophical journey. His "Gypsy" is a free thinking, intellectual rebel. He is a Greek Gypsy, in a post classical, post-Byzantine Greek world. He explores work, love, art, country, history, religion and science, keenly aware of his roots and of the contradictions between his classical and Christian heritage.