constantine p. cavafy | an old man

1 04 2008

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Poetry Dispatch No. 224 | April, 2008

INTERNATIONAL POETRY DAY

In celebration of this day, in appreciation of the recognition of the world-wide-web of poets and poetry, especially all those good writers from Greece, past and present, here is just one great poet of their own from the past, Cavafy. (More poets to follow). Norbert Blei
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An Old Man By Constantine P. Cavafy

At the noisy end of the café, head bent
over the table, an old man sits alone,
a newspaper in front of him.
And in the miserable banality of old age
he thinks how little he enjoyed the years
when he had strength, and wit, and looks.
He knows he’s very old now: sees it, feels it.
Yet it seems he was young just yesterday.
The time’s gone by so quickly, gone by so quickly.
And he thinks how Discretion fooled him,
how he always believed, so stupidly
that cheat who said: “Tomorrow. You have plenty of time.”
He remembers impulses bridled, the joy
he sacrificed. Every chance he lost
now mocks his brainless prudence.
But so much thinking, so much remembering
makes the old man dizzy. He falls asleep,
his head resting on the café table.

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The official Website of the Cavafy Archive is here…

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