Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Gift of a prior class

       And if I can't speak about my love -
       if I don't talk about your hair, your lips, your eyes,
       still your face that I keep within my heart,
       the sound of your voice that I keep within my mind,
       the days of September rising in my dreams,
       give shape and color to my words, my sentences,
       whatever theme I touch, whatever thought I utter.

       Constantine Cavafy wrote at precisely
       the right time, in precisely the right
       dialect to be ignored, in precisely
       the most advantageously unregulated in-
       stant in the history of a chronically
       despotic kingdom, to coincide with the
       Class at my university, who gave their
       gift of the dormitory of my final three
       years there. Everyone knew where we were,
       and might have read Greek with his trans-
       lator. The poetry already'd become ours.

       Who, but the poet, lets go of his time?



C.P. Cavafy
Collected Poems
  December, 1903
George Savidis
Edmund Keeley and
  Philip Sherrard
Princeton University Press, 1975©

Class of 1903 Hall

No comments:

Post a Comment