Wide World of Quotes > Constantine Cavafy Quotes


Constantine Cavafy
Greek poet
(1863-1933)



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Now what's going to happen to us without barbarians?
Those people were a kind of solution.
-- 'Waiting for the Barbarians' (1904) (
Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard, trs.), line 26

You won't find a new country, won't find another shore.
This city will always pursue you.
You'll walk the same streets, grow old
in the same neighbourhoods, turn grey in these same houses.
You'll always end up in this city. Don't hope for things elsewhere:
there's no ship for you, there's no road.
Now that you've wasted your life here, in this small corner,
you've destroyed it everywhere in the world.
-- 'The City' (1910) (
Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard, trs.), stanza. 2

When setting out upon your way to Ithaca,
wish always that your course be long,
full of adventure, full of lore.
-- 'Ithaka' (1911) (
Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard, trs.), line 1

Ithaka gave you the splendid journey.
Without her you would not haave set out.
Ahe hasn't anything else to give you.
-- 'Ithaka' (1911) (
Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard, trs.)

Body, remember not only how much you were loved,
not only the beds you lay on,
but also those desires glowing openly
in eyes that looked at you,
trembling for you in voices.
-- 'Body, Remember...' (1918)


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The selection of the above quotes and the writing of the accompanying notes was performed by the author David Paul Wagner.

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