Obra escogida C.P. Cavafy


Published: 1995


158 pages


Obra escogida  by  C.P. Cavafy

Obra escogida by C.P. Cavafy
1995 | Paperback | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, talking book, mp3, ZIP | 158 pages | ISBN: | 3.26 Mb

Great poems! A few that I liked a lot.VoicesIdeal voices, the beloved voicesof those who have died or of those who arelost to us as if they were dead.Sometimes they speak to us in dreams-sometimes, in thought, the mind hears them.And with their sounds for a moment returnsounds from our life’s first poetry –like music at night, far off, fading out.----CandlesThe days of the future stand before uslike a line of burning candles –golden candles, warm with life.Behind them stand the days of our past,a pitiful row of candles extinguished,the nearest still sending up their smoke:cold and melted, withered sticks.I don’t want to look- their image makes me sad,it saddens me to recall their kindling.I look ahead at the ones still burning.I don’t want to turn and see, with horror,how quickly the line of shadow lengthens,how quickly the number of snuffed candles grows.----PrayerThe sea’s taken a sailor to her depths below –his mother, still unaware, rushes to golight a narrow candle before the Virgin’s shrine,for his swift return, good weather, or a signthat she struggles against the wind to hear.But as she bows and reiterates her prayer,the icon listens, sorrowful and glum,quite sure that her son will never come.----The Year 31 BC in AlexandriaFrom his small village on the city’s outskirts,powdered in dust from the journey,the peddler arrived.

‘Frankincense’ and ‘gum’,‘the finest oil’ and ‘perfumes for your hair’he cries through the streets. But amid the tumult,the bands playing and the parades, he can’t be heard.He is bumped, jostled by the crowds until,totally confused, he asks, ‘What is this madness?’Then someone tosses him the palace’s gigantic lie –that Antony is victorious in Greece.----Of Coloured GlassI am quite touched by one detailin the coronation, at Blachernai, of John Cantacuzenusand Irene, daughter of Andronicus Asan.Because they had only a few precious stones(the poverty of our wretched kingdom being so great)they wore artificial gems: hundreds of pieces made of glass,red, green and blue.

There is nothingbase or undignified, in my view,about these little bitsof coloured glass. On the contrary, they seemlike a sorrowful protestagainst the undeserved misfortunes of the crown.They are the symbols of what should have been worn,of what, assuredly, ought to have been wornat the coronation of Lord John Cantacuzenusand his Lady Irene, daughter of Andronicus Asan.----Anna ComnenaIn the prologue of her AlexiadAnna Comnena laments her widowhood.Her soul is awhirl.

‘And with rivers of tears,’ she tells us,‘I bathe my eyes… in sorrow for the tempests’ of her life,‘sorrow for the insurrections’ she faced. The grief burns‘in the very marrow of my bone, in the rending of my soul’.But the truth is there was but one griefthat this ambitious lady ever knew-only one profound regret did she feel,this haughty Greek lady (even though she will not admit it):she never managed, for all her cunning,to take possession of the empire.

She watched as it was taken,snatched from her very hands, by the insolent John.----Nero’s DeadlineNero was not particularly concerned when he heardthe Delphic oracle’s prophecy:‘Years seventy and three beware.’He still had plenty of time to enjoy himself.He is only thirty. The deadline appointedby the god seems far enough awayto take precautions about any future dangers.He will return to Rome now a bit fatigued,but fatigued in a delicious way from this journeywhere every day provided some new delight –in the Greek theatres, the gardens and gymnasia…the evenings spent in the towns of Achaea…and yes, above all, the joy of those naked bodies…So much for Nero.

Meanwhile, in Spain, Galbasecretly recruits and trains his forces,an old man, aged seventy-three.----The FootstepsOn an ebony bedsteadadorned with eagles made of coral,Nero lies deep in sleep – quiet, unconscious, happy:in the prime of his body’s vigour-in the beautiful ardour of his youth.But in the alabaster hallthat holds the ancient shrine of the Ahenobarbi,the Lares of his house are anxious.These minor household gods are trembling,trying to conceal their already negligible bodies.For they heard a terrible noise,a deadly sound spiralling up the staircase,iron-soled footsteps shaking the steps.The miserable Lares, near-fainting now,huddle in the corner of the shrine,jostling and stumbling over each other,one little god falling over the next,for they knew what sort of noise it was-they recognize, by now, the footsteps of the Furies.

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