Constantine Cavafy

May 10, 2006

cavafy.jpg
(1863-1933)

Private poet: circulated work to relatives and friends; never sold a book
Poetry draws his readers into astonishingly real personal universe; invites readers to enter the world of his poetic imagination and to draw their own connections to contemporary life and circumstances
Poetry falls into three broad categories: historical, philosophical, and erotic.

Quotations:

Because night has fallen and the barbarians have not come. / And some who have just returned from the border say / there are no barbarians any longer. And now, what's going to happen to us without barbarians? / They were, those people, a kind of solution.

-Waiting for the Barbarians

As you've wasted your life here, in this small corner, / you've destroyed it everywhere else in the world.

-The City

There, now that he's sitting down at the next table, / I recognize every motion he makes- and under his clothes / I see again the limbs I loved, naked.

-The Next Table

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