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Complete Poems

af C.P. Cavafy

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1,806269,489 (4.31)24
This volume presents the most authentic Greek text of Cavafy's 154 authorized poems ever to be published, together with a new English translation that conveys the accent and rhythm of the poet's individual tone of voice. - ;'a Greek gentleman in a straw hat, standing absolutely motionless at a slight angle to the universe' E. M. Forster. E. M. Forster's description of C. P. Cavafy (1863-1933) perfectly encapsulates the unique perspective Cavafy brought to bear on history and geography, sexuality and language in his poems. Cavafy writes about people on the periphery, whose religious, ethnic and… (mere)
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Engelsk (21)  Spansk (3)  Italiensk (1)  Alle sprog (25)
Viser 1-5 af 25 (næste | vis alle)
So, to be clear, I'm not giving Cavafy's poems 2 stars; my opprobrium is reserved for Daniel Mendelsohn's dishearteningly dead translations. Yes, Cavafy was writing free verse in the modernist vein. Yes, his poetic tone often borders on conversational. But Mendelsohn has decided to ignore the rhythmic torrents of the great poet's work, to select the most mundane word in any situation, to replace the feeling with the cerebral, rather than let the two walk hand in hand. The conversational, perhaps, has become colloquial.

It is certainly impressive for Mendelsohn to have translated all of Cavafy's poems (this edition is a "highlights reel" from the full two-volume collection). This should not be taken as a slight on his lifetime of work or his command of Greek! (Who am I to make such judgments?) Yet dedication alone, however admirable, is not achievement. Perhaps it's an American thing - or a generational one! Mendelsohn's collection has been rapturously received by American institutions, and I suspect there is something appealing, to those soaked in the American literary tradition, in the understated ordinariness of this verse.

As one who does not have Greek, it would be folly to discuss the art of translation in this context. So allow me to compare just two lines from Cavafy's most famous poem The City to try and express the intangible something which I find to be missing from DM's translation.

Here is DM:
"You'll always end up in this city. Don't bother to hope
for a ship, a route, to take you somewhere else;
they don't exist."

Here Edmund Keeley:
" You’ll always end up in this city. Don’t hope for things elsewhere:
there’s no ship for you, there’s no road."

Rae Delven:
"Always you will arrive in this city. Do not hope for any other–
There is no ship for you, there is no road."

Theoharis C. Theoharis:
"Always you will end up in this city.
For you there is no boat - abandon hope of that -
no road to other things."

And finally Lawrence Durrell, consciously "transplanting" rather than "translating", in a version from the appendices to his Justine:
"The city is a cage.
No other places, always this
Your earthly landfall, and no ship exists
To take you from yourself."

Four versions of Cavafy I would enjoy reading. And none of them Mendelsohn's. ( )
  therebelprince | Apr 21, 2024 |
While living in Alexandria Cavafy wrote lyrical poetry featuring Greek culture and its past. This collection contains both narrative poems about the past and more personal lyrics often concerned with homosexual love. The style and tone is expressed in simple dry language that is unique to Cavafy. He is one of my favorite poets. ( )
  jwhenderson | Aug 2, 2022 |
Michael Dirda's Classics for Pleasure put this modern Greek poet on my radar. Luckily, the next day, I got a small bonus on my paycheck and allowed myself to purchase this Harcourt paperback of Cavafy's complete poems, as translated by Rae Dalven. With poetry, I like to dive right in and read poems at random from the beginning, middle, and end of the book. This gives me a sense of the poet's themes, motifs, style, and a view of their development as an artist (typically a book of complete poetry is assembled chronologically). Though Cavafy's poems aren't of epic length, they are of many Hesiodic and Homeric topics and figures. (I always imagine that, in the same way Chaucer and Shakespeare loom over modern English poets, Homer and Pindar must loom over modern Greek ones.) His style is clear, forthright, and barbed with longing. I agree with W. H. Auden in his introduction that Cavafy's poetry lacks ornamentation, but I disagree with Auden that "simile and metaphor are devices he never uses"—the first poem in this volume, "Desires," begins with the word "Like" and proceeds to be, in fact, entirely a simile. A sampling of the verses should serve to give the flavor of Cavafy's disposition: "Every lost chance / now mocks his senseless prudence"; "Body, remember..."; "they have built big and high walls around me"; "Shut up in a greenhouse"; "other echos / return from the first poetry of our lives"; "And the morrow ends by not resembling a morrow"; "And now what shall become of us without any barbarians?" The main thread running through the poems is the modernist contradiction of proselytizing carpe diem from a state of ennui. ( )
  chrisvia | Apr 29, 2021 |
Los poemas de Cavafy son bastante interesantes. En esta edición, el estudio introductorio ayuda mucho a entender la relación entre el autor y sus poemas. ( )
  jmsr2020 | Dec 17, 2020 |
I was required to learn a little Cavafy when I took Modern Greek in school, but he only made a partial impression on me at the time. It was this book which made me fall in love. When I read it, I have the sensation of finding a book I had written myself but somehow never read... I don't have the poetic skill in English or Greek, but the thoughts fit with my thoughts. I'm concerned that if I learned Cavafy's works too well, that feeling might slip away and never be recovered. And so Cavafy became my favorite poet, but I also carefully refrain from becoming too much of an expert. It is a book I pick up again once a year or so, especially if I start to think that I don't enjoy poetry after all. Highly recommended. ( )
  Bessarion42 | Jul 11, 2020 |
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» Tilføj andre forfattere (136 mulige)

Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
C.P. Cavafyprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Auden, W. H.Introduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Auden, W. H.Fortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Barnstone, AlikiOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Blanken, G.H.Oversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Dalven, RaeOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Dimaras, ConstantinOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Ferraté, JoanOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Keeley, EdmundOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Mavrogordato, JohnOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Mendelsohn, DanielOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Molegraaf, MarioOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Savidis, GeorgeDesignermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Savidis, GeorgeRedaktørmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Sherrard, PhilipOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Solà, Alexis E.Oversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Warner, RexIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Warren, HansOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Yourcenar, MargueriteOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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This volume presents the most authentic Greek text of Cavafy's 154 authorized poems ever to be published, together with a new English translation that conveys the accent and rhythm of the poet's individual tone of voice. - ;'a Greek gentleman in a straw hat, standing absolutely motionless at a slight angle to the universe' E. M. Forster. E. M. Forster's description of C. P. Cavafy (1863-1933) perfectly encapsulates the unique perspective Cavafy brought to bear on history and geography, sexuality and language in his poems. Cavafy writes about people on the periphery, whose religious, ethnic and

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