en-USel-GRde-DEit-IT

C. P. CAVAFY, THE CITY 

Size: 100x60 cm

Handmade manuscript written with dip pen (with metallic nib) and acrylic ink in Greek minuscule script, as it has been styled in the late Byzantine era.

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The City  

You said: “I’ll go to another country, go to another shore,
find another city better than this one.
Whatever I try to do is fated to turn out wrong
and my heart lies buried as though it were something dead.
How long can I let my mind moulder in this place?
Wherever I turn, wherever I happen to look,
I see the black ruins of my life, here,
where I’ve spent so many years, wasted them, destroyed them totally.”
 
You won’t find a new country, won’t find another shore.
This city will always pursue you. You will walk
the same streets, grow old in the same neighborhoods,
will turn gray in these same houses.
You will always end up in this city. Don’t hope for things elsewhere:
there is no ship for you, there is no road.
As you’ve wasted your life here, in this small corner,
you’ve destroyed it everywhere else in the world. 

Translated by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard
(C.P. Cavafy, Collected Poems. Translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard. Edited by George Savidis. Revised Edition. Princeton University Press, 1992)


http://www.cavafy.com/poems/content.asp?id=58&cat=1

 

Ἡ πόλις

Εἶπες ˚ «Θὰ πάγω σ' ἄλλη γῆ, θὰ πάγω σ' ἄλλη θάλασσα.
Μιὰ πόλις ἄλλη θὰ βρεθεῖ καλλίτερη ἀπ' αὐτή.
Κάθε προσπάθειά μου μιὰ καταδίκη εἶναι γραφτῆ ˚
κ' εἲν' ἡ καρδιά μου -σὰν νεκρός- θαμένη.
Ὁ νοῦς μου ὡς πότε μὲς στὸν μαρασμὸν αὐτὸν θὰ μένει.
Ὅπου τὸ μάτι μου γυρίσω, ὅπου κι ἂν δῶ
ἐρείπια μαῦρα τῆς ζωῆς μου βλέπω ἐδῶ,
ποῦ τόσα χρόνια πέρασα καὶ ρήμαξα καὶ χάλασα.»

Καινούργιους τόπους δὲν θὰ βρεῖς, δὲν θάβρεις ἄλλες θάλασσες.
Ἡ πόλις θὰ σὲ ἀκολουθεῖ. Στοὺς δρόμους θὰ γυρνᾷς
τοὺς ἴδιους. Καὶ στὲς γειτονιὲς τὲς ἴδιες θὰ γερνᾷς ˚
καὶ μὲς στὰ ἴδια σπίτια αὐτὰ θ' ἀσπρίζεις.
Πάντα στὴν πόλι αὐτὴ θὰ φθάνεις. Γιὰ τὰ ἀλλοῦ -μὴ ἐλπίζεις-
δὲν ἔχει πλοῖο γιὰ σέ, δὲν ἔχει ὁδό.
Ἔτσι ποῦ τὴ ζωή σου ρήμαξες ἐδῶ
στὴν κώχη τούτη τὴν μικρή, σ' ὅλην τὴν γῆ τὴν χάλασες.

http://el.wikisource.org/wiki/Η_πολις