2018年4月29日 星期日

"One of Their Gods" by C P Cavafy

Poet Constantine Peter Cavafy was born in Alexandria, Egypt on this day in 1863.
"One of Their Gods" by C P Cavafy
Whenever one of Them would cross Seleucia’s
marketplace, around the time that evening falls—
like some tall and flawlessly beautiful boy,
with the joy of incorruptibility in his eye,
with that dark and fragrant hair of his—
the passersby would stare at him
and one would ask another if he knew him,
and if he were a Syrian Greek, or foreign. But some,
who’d paid him more attention as they watched,
understood, and would make way.
And as he disappeared beneath the arcades,
among the shadows and the evening lights,
making his way to the neighborhood that comes alive
only at night—that life of revels and debauch,
of every known intoxication and lust—
they’d wonder which of Them he really was
and for which of his suspect diversions
he’d come down to walk Seleucia’s streets
from his Venerable, Sacrosanct Abode.
*
The Alexandrian Greek poet Constantine Cavafy (1863–1933) is a towering figure of twentieth-century literature. No modern poet brought so vividly to life the history and culture of Mediterranean antiquity; no writer dared break, with such taut energy, the taboos of his time surrounding homoerotic desire. In this edition, award-winning translator and editor Daniel Mendelsohn has made a selection of the poet’s best-loved works, including such favorites as “Waiting for the Barbarians,” “Ithaca,” and “The God Abandons Antony.” Accompanied by Mendelsohn’s explanatory notes, the poems collected here cover the vast sweep of Hellenic civilization, from the Trojan War through Cavafy’s own lifetime. Whether advising Odysseus as he returns home to Ithaca or portraying a doomed Marc Antony on the eve of his death, Cavafy’s poems make the historic profoundly and movingly personal. READ an excerpt from the preface here: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/…/cavafy-poems-by-c-p-c…/

沒有留言: