Sunday, 12 December 2004

Constantine P. Cavafy, [Extract from] "Ithaca" (1911)

If ever you're feeling bluesy, take comfort in these lines and remember that, as J. E. Buckrose says, "Happiness comes more from loving than being loved; and often when our affection seems wounded it is only our vanity bleeding. To love, and to be hurt often, and to love again - this is the brave and happy life."

So anyway, here's Cavafy:

Always keep Ithaca in your mind.
To arrive there is your ultimate goal.
But do not hurry the voyage at all.
It is better to let it last for many years;
and to anchor at the island when you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.

Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.
Without her you would have never set out on the road.
She has nothing more to give you.

And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not deceived you.
Wise as you have become, with so much experience,
you must already have understood what Ithacas mean.

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