By C.P. Cavafy, Daniel Mendelsohn

A rare literary occasion: Daniel Mendelsohn’s acclaimed two-volume translation of the entire poems of C. P. Cavafy—including the 1st English translation of the poet’s ultimate Unfinished Poems—now released in a single good-looking version and that includes the fullest literary commentaries to be had in English, through the well known critic, student, and overseas best-selling writer of The Lost.
No smooth poet so vividly dropped at lifestyles the background and tradition of Mediterranean antiquity; no author dared holiday, with such taut power, the early-twentieth-century taboos surrounding homoerotic wish; no poet prior to or seeing that has so gracefully melded elegy and irony because the Alexandrian Greek poet Constantine Cavafy (1863–1933). no matter if advising Odysseus on his go back to Ithaca or confronting the poet with the ghosts of his early life, those verses brilliantly make the ancient personal—and vice versa. To his profound exploration of longing and loneliness, destiny and loss, reminiscence and id, Cavafy brings the historian’s assessing eye in addition to the poet’s compassionate center.
After greater than a decade of labor and research, Mendelsohn—a classicist who on my own between Cavafy’s translators stocks the poet’s deep intimacy with the traditional world—gives readers complete entry to the genius of Cavafy’s verse: the sensuous rhymes, wealthy assonances, and powerful rhythms of the unique Greek that experience eluded prior translators. entire with the incomplete Poems that Cavafy left in drafts while he died—a amazing, hitherto unknown discovery that remained within the Cavafy Archive in Athens for decades—and with an in-depth advent and a useful observation that situates every one paintings in a wealthy historic, literary, and biographical context, this revelatory translation is a reason for get together: the definitive presentation of Cavafy in English.

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If you can't remain, O Stranger, then sooner than you permit, you need to cross, one Sunday, to the marina of Gregory; peace, and adolescence, and pleasure you’ll see, and you may understand what it truly is, our Nichori. tune of the guts (1886) With you, i feel, all that's friendly smiles on me, within the replicate of your eyes there's mirrored pleasure. remain, my gentle, and nonetheless i have never instructed you even part of all that presses down upon my middle so amorous, that rushes to my lips with only a unmarried glance from you. if you want it, don't communicate to me, or say spell binding phrases of affection and adoration. ’Tis adequate that you’re within reach, that I let you know that i would like you, that I’m close to you, that the morning dew that you simply breathe in, I breathe in, too; and should you locate that those too are over the top, ’tis adequate I only see you! To Stephanos Skilitsis (1886) If souls, as they let us know, are immortal, maybe your spirit wanders close to us, Stephanos, and feels contentment if you happen to listen your identify upon our lips, and whilst our trustworthy recommendations are stirred via the one you love reminiscence. Stephanos, you’ve now not been parted from us by means of the grave: from us, with whom you almost shared your lifestyles. As little ones we'd play jointly; our infantile woes and our joys we’d think jointly; after which, younger males, we found life’s first pleasures all as one— until eventually days in the past, Stephanos, days in the past, and now we have now borne you, chilly, for your final home. yet no. You’re with us. The stone upon your grave may be, for us, a fragile veil, diaphanous. And even though you’re misplaced on your acquaintances’ eyes, their souls, and stories, and hearts, will continuously see you and retain you, Stephanos, their inseparable good friend. Correspondences in line with Baudelaire (1891) Aromas encourage me as tune does, as rhythm does, as do appealing phrases, and that i pride whilst, in harmonious verses, Baudelaire expresses what the surprised spirit, even dimly, feels amidst its sterile stirrings. “A temple is what Nature is, the place dwelling pillars now and then pronounce muddled phrases. guy is going during the heart of the crowded groves of symbols, which notice him with typical gazes. “As drawn-out echoes, which from far-off commingle in a depressing cohesion, so, in a harmony boundless because the darkish and because the gentle, there correspond colours, noises, and aromas. “There are fragrances as dewy as the outside of youngsters; as candy as oboes; grassy as meadows. “Others are wealthy, corrupt, effective: they sing of the transports of the brain and of the senses; they include the outpouring of endless things—like ambergris, and musk, gum benjamin, and frankincense. ” don't think in basic terms what you spot. The imaginative and prescient of poets is sharper nonetheless. To them, Nature is a well-recognized backyard. In a shadowed paradise, these different humans grope alongside the harsh highway. the only real illumination, which like a fleeting spark will occasionally mild their manner at evening, is a short-lived feeling of an opportunity and impossible to resist strategy— short nostalgia, short-term shiver, dream of the dawn hour, a pleasure that has no reason, without notice flowing into the guts and simply as without warning fleeing.

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