Before Time Could Change Them: The Complete Poems of Constantine P. Cavafy

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9780151005192: Before Time Could Change Them: The Complete Poems of Constantine P. Cavafy

Since his death almost seventy years ago, C. P. Cavafy has come to be recognized as one of the greatest poets of modern times. Elegiac, deeply sensual, and able to plumb the heart with language of immense richness, Cavafy evokes the great lost classical world of the Mediterranean with unparalleled beauty. Much of his poetry deals with love, specifically homosexual love. It speaks of human passions, the experience common to all mankind of love offered, sought, and lost. His verse is beautiful and embracing, and remains as alive and sensuous as it was when he wrote it.

Theoharis Constantine Theoharis offers a new translation, one that presents Cavafy's work in the thematic order Cavafy wanted it published and emphasizes the tenderness and intensity of the love poems. Gore Vidal's foreword offers an explication of Cavafy's world, a valuable map for readers of what will be embraced as a signal volume of world poetry.

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About the Author:

Constantine P. Cavafy (1863-1933) was born in Alexandria, Egypt, to Greek parents. He is considered to be the greatest of modern Greek poets.

Theoharis Constantine Theoharis (left) has taught comparative literature at Harvard University since 1985 and is the author of Ibsen's Drama and Joyce's Ulysses. He is the editor of the Boston Book Review.

Gore Vidal is the author of many bestselling novels including Julian, Burr, Myra Breckinridge, and Lincoln. He lives in Italy.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

The City

You said: "I will go to another land, I will go to another sea.

Another city will turn up, a better one than this.

My efforts-each is judged and damned beforehand,

and my heart is buried, like a dead man.

And my mind, how long will it remain in this morass.

Anywhere I turn my eye, anywhere I look,

the black ruins of my life are what I see here,

where I have spent so many years, where I have botched and

spoiled so many."

You will not find other places, you will not find other seas.

The city will follow you. All roads you walk

will be these roads. And you will age in these same neighborhoods;

and in these same houses you will go gray.

Always you will end up in this city. For you

there is no boat-abandon hope of that-no road to other things.

The way you've botched your life here, in this small corner,

makes for your ruin everywhere on earth.

Copyright ©2001by Theoharis C. Theoharis
Foreward Copyright ©2001by Gore Vidal
Published by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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