martes, 10 de febrero de 2015

Poetry: Konstantinos Kavafis - Walls - Remember, Body... - Hidden Things - Darius - Links to more KK








Walls

Without consideration, without pity, without shame
they have built great and high walls around me.

And now I sit here and despair.
I think of nothing else: this fate gnaws at my mind;

for I had many things to do outside.
Ah why did I not pay attention when they were building the walls.

But I never heard any noise or sound of builders.
Imperceptibly they shut me from the outside world.



Remember, Body...

Body, remember not only how much you were loved,
not only the beds on which you lay,
but also those desires which for you
plainly glowed in the eyes,
and trembled in the voice -- and some
chance obstacle made them futile.
Now that all belongs to the past,
it is almost as if you had yielded
to those desires too -- remember,
how they glowed, in the eyes looking at you;
how they trembled in the voice, for you, remember, body.


Hidden Things

Let them not seek to discover who I was
from all that I have done and said.
An obstacle was there that transformed
the deeds and the manner of my life.
An obstacle was there that stopped me
many times when I was about to speak.
Only from my most imperceptible deeds
and my most covert writings--
from these alone will they understand me.
But perhaps it isn't worth exerting
such care and such effort for them to know me.
Later, in the more perfect society,
surely some other person created like me
will appear and act freely.



Darius

The poet Phernazis is composing
the important part of his epic poem.
How Darius, son of Hystaspes,
assumed the kingdom of the Persians. (From him
is descended our glorious king
Mithridates, Dionysus and Eupator). But here
philosophy is needed; he must analyze
the sentiments that Darius must have had:
maybe arrogance and drunkenness; but no -- rather
like an understanding of the vanity of grandeurs.
The poet contemplates the matter deeply.

But he is interrupted by his servant who enters
running, and announces the portendous news.
The war with the Romans has begun.
The bulk of our army has crossed the borders.

The poet is speechless. What a disaster!
No time now for our glorious king
Mithridates, Dionysus and Eupator,
to occupy himself with greek poems.
In the midst of a war -- imagine, greek poems.

Phernazis is impatient. Misfortune!
Just when he was positive that with "Darius"
he would distinguish himself, and shut the mouths
of his critics, the envious ones, for good.
What a delay, what a delay to his plans.

And if it were only a delay, it would still be all right.
But it yet remains to be seen if we have any security
at Amisus. It is not a strongly fortified city.
The Romans are the most horrible enemies.
Can we hold against them
we Cappadocians? It is possible at all?
It is possible to pit ourselves against the legions?
Mighty Gods, protectors of Asia, help us.--

But in all his turmoil and trouble,
the poetic idea too comes and goes persistently--
the most probable, surely, is arrogance and drunkenness;
Darius must have felt arrogance and drunkenness.




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Poetry: Konstantinos Kavafis - Walls - Remember, Body... - Hidden Things - Darius - Links to more KK






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