Thursday, January 29, 2015

I hazarded a finding on a matter of fashion

   big mistake,
   forgot about
   glass houses

            There is one other thing that is lamentable,
            most lamentable. This is when certain great
            ships pass by, festooned with coral and masts
            of ebony, with great white and red flags un-
            furled, ladened with treasures, which never
            even approach the harbour since either all of
            their cargo is banned or the harbour is not
            deep enough to receive them. And they contin-
            ue on their way. A tail wind fills the sails
            of silk and the sun illumines the glory of 
            their golden prows, and they sail off gently
            and majestically, distancing themselves from
            us and our shallow port for ever.

  As in the case, I'd
  suppose, of anyone
  who comes here more
  than once, I some-
  times see so clear-
  ly, it's those who
  dredge the harbour
  who stay on. This
  poet's harbour was
  Alexandria, and he
  made it everyone's.

Constantine P. Cavafy
Selected Prose Works
  The Ships
  prose poem
Peter Jeffreys
  editor and translator
University of Michigan Press, 2010©

No comments:

Post a Comment