cavafys

Ιδανικές φωνές κι αγαπημένες
εκείνων που πέθαναν, ή εκείνων που είναι
για μας χαμένοι σαν τους πεθαμένους.

Κάποτε μες στα όνειρά μας ομιλούνε
κάποτε μες στην σκέψη τες ακούει το μυαλό.

Και με τον ήχο των για μια στιγμή επιστρέφουν
ήχοι από την πρώτη ποίηση της ζωής μας
σα μουσική, τη νύχτα, μακρινή, που σβήνει.

—  Κ. Καβάφης, Φωνές

This reminds me of a poem by Cavafys I once read…

Their Beginning 

Their illicit pleasure has been fulfilled.
They get up and dress quickly, without a word.
They come out of the house separately, furtively;
and as they move along the street a bit unsettled,
it seems they sense that something about them betrays what kind of bed they’ve just been lying on.

But what profit for the life of the artist:
tomorrow, the day after, or years later, he’ll give voice to the strong lines that had their beginning here. 

- C.P. Cavafy 

youtube

Diamanda Galás. Live Chicago’s Museum of Modern Art.

February 23, 2012.
0:00 I gatti lo sapranno. Text by: Cesare Pavese
6:29 Anoixe petra. Text by: Lefteris Papadopoulos
11:12 Die Stunde kommt. Text by: Ferdinand Freiligrath.
20:53 Were You There When They Crucified My Lord .Text by: William Eleazar Barton
28:38 En Apognwsei. Text by: Konstantinos Cavafy
36:27 Let’s Not Chat About Despair. Text by: Janes Addiction and Diamanda Galas
42:15 O death. Traditional.
51:51 See That My Grave Is Kept Clean. Text by: Blind Lemon Jefferson
1:00:09 Artemis. Text by: Gerard Nerval.
1:04:09 Lets my people go. Text by: Paul Robeson.

Reading Masterpost

I get loads of questions about what I’m reading, where the excerpts I post on my snapchat and instagram are from etc.. so here is my books/poetry masterpost! This is a mix of my favorites and what’s in my queue, it includes poetry, classics, memoirs, novels. x

  • A Happy Death by Albert Camus
  • A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
  • Against Interpretation and Other Essays by Susan Sontag
  • An Exclusive Love by Johanna Adorn
  • Antigua, Penny, Puce by Robert Graves
  • Ballistics by Billy Collins
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison
  • Big Sur by Jack Kerouac
  • Bits of Paradise by F Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald
  • Blood Tin Straw by Sharon Olds
  • Blue Nights by Joan Didion
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • Chelsea Girls by Eileen Myles
  • CP Cavafy Collected Poems by CP Cavafy
  • Crush by Richard Siken
  • Eve’s Hollywood by Eve Babitz
  • Franny and Zooey by JD Salinger
  • Girl in a Band by Kim Gordon
  • Heaven and Other Poems by Jack Kerouac
  • In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  • In Praise of Older Women by Stephen Vizinczey
  • Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • Journals by Keith Haring
  • Junky by William S Burroughs
  • Just Kids by Patti Smith
  • Laurel Canyon by Michael Walker
  • Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
  • Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
  • Love Me Back by Merrit Tierce
  • Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
  • Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  • Nausea by Jean Paul Sartre
  • No Matter the Wreckage by Sarah Kay
  • Oh the Glory of It All by Sean Wilsey
  • On the Road by Jack Kerouac
  • Queer by William S Burroughs
  • Recipes for Sad Women by Hector Abad
  • Said the Manic to the Muse by Jeanann Verlee
  • Say Her Name by Francisco Goldman
  • Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion
  • Sunlight on Cold Water by Francoise Sagan
  • Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust
  • Tender Is the Night by F Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Awakening by Kate Chopin
  • The Beautiful and Damned by F Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Bell Jar by Silvia Plath
  • The Bones Below by Sierra Demulder
  • The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
  • The Conquest of Happiness by Bertrand Russell
  • The Diary of Frida Khalo by Frida Khalo
  • The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
  • The Holy Terrors by Jean Cocteau
  • The Island by Aldous Huxley
  • The Kreutzer Sonata by Leo Tolstoy
  • The Last Love Song by Tracy Daugherty
  • The Revolution of Everyday Life by Raoul Vaneigem
  • The Seven Ages by Louise Gluck
  • The Stranger by Albert Camus
  • The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  • The Trial by Franz Kafka
  • The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
  • This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz
  • Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
  • Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda
  • Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • View with a Grain of Sand by Wislawa Szymborska
  • Widow Basquiat by Jennifer Clement

Ithaka

As you set out for Ithaka

hope the voyage is a long one,

full of adventure, full of discovery.

Laistrygonians and Cyclops,

angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them:

you’ll never find things like that on your way

as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,

as long as a rare excitement

stirs your spirit and your body.

Laistrygonians and Cyclops,

wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them

unless you bring them along inside your soul,

unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

Hope the voyage is a long one.

May there be many a summer morning when,

with what pleasure, what joy,

you come into harbors seen for the first time;

may you stop at Phoenician trading stations

to buy fine things,

mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,

sensual perfume of every kind—

as many sensual perfumes as you can;

and may you visit many Egyptian cities

to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.

Arriving there is what you are destined for.

But do not hurry the journey at all.

Better if it lasts for years,

so you are old by the time you reach the island,

wealthy with all you have gained on the way,

not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.

Without her you would not have set out.

She has nothing left to give you now.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.

Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,

you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean. 

C.P. Cavafy, Collected Poems

The son of Menedoros, Kimos, a Greek-Italian,
fritters his life away in the pursuit of pleasure,
according to the common practice in Magna Graecia
among the rich, unruly young men of today.

Today, however, wholly counter to his nature,
he’s lost in thought, dejected. There on the shores he sees
with bitter melancholy ship upon ship that slowly
disgorges crates of booty from the Peloponnese.

Greek booty. Spoils of Corinth.

Today don’t be surprised if it’s unsuitable,
indeed impossible, for the Italicized
young man to dream of giving himself to pleasure fully.
— 

C.P. Cavafy - On an Italian Shore

(translated by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard)

This poem is so relevant to modern society. Everyday, we see bombings and shootings and we’re momentarily shocked and feel sorry for the people suffering. The next day, or even hour, we move on with our lives. We forget about the tragedies going on in the world. Only in that day or hour we’re sad and our routine is affected. But after that, we move on, doing nothing to help those people, in any way. 

ellines.com
CONSTANTINE CAVAFY - One of the major Greek poets of our times

«I am from Constantinople by descent, but I was born in Alexandria—at a house on Seriph Street; I left very young, and spent much of my childhood in England. Subsequently I visited this country as an adult, but for a short period of time. I have also lived in France. During my adolescence I lived over two years in Constantinople. It has been many years since I last visited Greece. My last employment was as a clerk at a government office under the Ministry of Public Works of Egypt. I know English, French, and a little Italian.»

With these few words, Constantine Cavafy identified his roots and part of his knowledge. Simple, brief, one of the major Greek poets of our times.

The ninth child of Peter-John Ioannou Cavafy, a major cotton merchant and Charicleia Photiades with roots in Constantinople, he was born on April 29th, 1863, in Alexandria, where his parents had relocated from Constantinople.

Peter-John’s death in 1870 caused the end of their family business and forced the surviving members to move to London.

In 1897, he traveled to Paris and in 1903 to Greece, following 30 years of living in Alexandria.

Ithaka
  • Ithaka
  • C.P. Cavafy
Play

Domingo, 31 de enero 


As you set out for Ithaka
hope the voyage is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them:
you’ll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

Hope the voyage is a long one.
May there be many a summer morning when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you come into harbors seen for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind—
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you are destined for.
But do not hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you are old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.

Voices

Loved, idealized voices
of those who have died, or of those
lost for us like the dead.

Sometimes they speak to us in dreams;
sometimes deep in thought the mind hears them.

And, with their sound, for a moment return
sounds from our life’s first poetry -
like distant music fading away at night.

Constantine P. Cavafy

Recuerda, cuerpo

Recuerda, cuerpo, cuánto te amaron;

no sólo las camas en las que yaciste,

sino también los deseos

que por ti brillaron en los ojos

y temblaron en las voces, y que hicieron

vanos los obstáculos del destino.

Ahora que pertenecen al pasado, 

casi parece como si te hubieras

entregado a esos deseos.

Cómo ardían.

Recuerda los ojos que te vieron, 

las voces que temblaron por ti.

Recuerda, cuerpo.

C.P. Cavafis (1918)

cloudstrifevevo asked:

ivy, rue, and winona 🌿

ivy: favorite part of the holidays

-ok my fav holiday is christmas and i like wrapping gifts and decorating and when it just. feels like christmas? idk

rue: forest or field?

-forest !

winona: favorite quote

“and if you find her poor, ithaka won’t have fooled you. wise as you will have become, and so full of experience, you will have understood by then what these ithakas mean”

send me these!

A un día monótono otro
monótono, invariable sigue: Pasarán
las mismas cosas, volverán a pasar -
los mismos instantes nos hallan y nos dejan.
Un mes pasa y trae otro mes.
Lo que viene uno fácilmente lo adivina:
son aquellas mismas cosas fastidiosas de ayer.
Y llega el mañana ya a no parecer mañana.
—  Monotonía. Constantino Cavafis.

henrydear asked:

50, 60, and 84? <3

(Hello my precious cat wife♥)

50: what’s an odd thing you collect? I used to collect telephone cards, the ones you use for phone booths? Not sure what’s the word in english. I had a huge bag full of telephone cards. But that was way too long ago. Now…I collect theatre tickets! (Not very weird, but hey.) I usually forget them in my wallet, until it’s about to burst open any given time.

60: do you like poetry? what are some of your faves? I DO - I love Cavafy greatly (I am going to be taking a Greek poetry class in spring semester. Just because.) among others.
Some of my favourite poems are As Much As You Can, The Equilibrists, and The Burning Man.

84: are you planning on getting tattoos? which ones? I haven’t thought of it actually, tattoos is something I’d like, and yet I’m not crazy about the idea of getting one. So, when/if I do, it’d probably be a phrase, or a symbol I’ve spent a lot of time researching on.

cute asks

“Walls”

by Constantine P. Cavafy


With no consideration, no pity, no shame,

they have built walls around me, thick and high.

And now I sit here feeling hopeless.

I can’t think of anything else: this fate gnaws my mind -

because I had so much to do outside.

When they were building the walls, how could I not have noticed!

But I never heard the builders, not a sound.

Imperceptibly they have closed me off from the outside world.

(via Konstantinos Kavafis – Per quanto sta in te)

Una conversazione fatta qui con una “amica” di questa pagina, mi ha fatto venire in mente questa splendida poesia che avevo già condiviso ma che certamente vale la pena di rileggere ed ascoltarne la lettura che sono riuscita ad aggiungere.
Kavafis è un poeta splendido secondo me, mi fa sempre pensare al tempo che trascorre, all'inevitabile perdita di brandelli di vita.
Ma anche è di sprone a non mollare, a cercare comunque quanto di valido si può ancora trovare.
La dedico a tutti voi, incerti di quanto avete e alla ricerca comunque di qualcosa di buono :)

E se non puoi la vita che desideri
cerca almeno questo
per quanto sta in te: non sciuparla
nel troppo commercio con la gente […]

2

“Body, remember”

by C. P. Cavafy


Body, remember not only how much you were loved,
not only the beds you lay on,
but also those desires that glowed openly
in eyes that looked at you,
trembled for you in the voices—
only some chance obstacle frustrated them.
Now that it’s all finally in the past,
it seems almost as if you gave yourself
to those desires too—how they glowed,
remember, in eyes that looked at you,
remember, body, how they trembled for you in those voices.

reddit.com
jeureka : ÍTACA. DEL POETA GRIEGO CONSTANTINO CAVAFIS. (Podemos porque, mientras llegamos nos reconocemos, nos reconfortamos y apreciamos lo vivido)

El objetivo es claro; volver a la casa perdida, amable, acogedora, regresar a la patria. Esa prioridad puso Homero a Ulises en La Odisea.Alcanzar la meta impregna todo, construye y destruye. Si se observa, aprecia y disfruta el camino, el desánimo se aleja y se persiste sin ansiedades, ya duchos en experiencias de grandeza humana y en vivencias estimables.Podemos porque, cuando arribemos, no llevaremos las manos vacías ni el corazón podrido.—ItacaCuando emprendas tu viaje a Itaca pide que el camino sea largo, lleno de aventuras, lleno de experiencias. No temas a los lestrigones ni a los cíclopes ni al colérico Poseidón, seres tales jamás hallarás en tu camino, si tu pensar es elevado, si selecta es la emoción que toca tu espíritu y tu cuerpo. Ni a los lestrigones ni a los cíclopes ni al salvaje Poseidón encontrarás, si no los llevas dentro de tu alma, si no los yergue tu alma ante ti.Pide que el camino sea largo. Que muchas sean las mañanas de verano en que llegues -¡con qué placer y alegría!- a puertos nunca vistos antes. Detente en los emporios de Fenicia y hazte con hermosas mercancías, nácar y coral, ámbar y ébano y toda suerte de perfumes sensuales, cuantos más abundantes perfumes sensuales puedas. Ve a muchas ciudades egipcias a aprender, a aprender de sus sabios.Ten siempre a Itaca en tu mente. Llegar allí es tu destino. Mas no apresures nunca el viaje. Mejor que dure muchos años y atracar, viejo ya, en la isla, enriquecido de cuanto ganaste en el camino sin aguantar a que Itaca te enriquezca.Itaca te brindó tan hermoso viaje. Sin ella no habrías emprendido el camino. Pero no tiene ya nada que darte.Aunque la halles pobre, Itaca no te ha engañado. Así, sabio como te has vuelto, con tanta experiencia, entenderás ya qué significan las Itacas.C. P. Cavafis. Antología poética. Alianza Editorial, Madrid 1999.Edición y traducción, Pedro Bádenas de la Peña via /r/podemos

The Satrapy

What a misfortune, although you are made

for fine and great works

this unjust fate of yours always

denies you encouragement and success;

that base customs should block you;

and pettiness and indifference.

And how terrible the day when you yield

(the day when you give up and yield),

and you leave on foot for Susa,

and you go to the monarch Artaxerxes

who favorably places you in his court,

and offers you satrapies and the like.

And you accept them with despair

these things that you do not want.

Your soul seeks other things, weeps for other things;

the praise of the public and the Sophists,

the hard-won and inestimable Well Done;

the Agora, the Theater, and the Laurels.

How can Artaxerxes give you these,

where will you find these in a satrapy;

and what life can you live without these.

- Constantine P. Cavafy (1910).