This poem has been in my mental saddlebags for about a quarter of a century.  I can’t remember how I came across it but after a few readings it imprinted itself on my memory. 

It’s by a Greek poet, Constantine Cavafy (1863-1933), and draws on one of the great Greek epics, the long, slow return of Odysseus to his native Ithaka, after what ends up being round trip of a couple of decades.  But like many ostensibly Greek themes, this has universal resonance and is a metaphor for the journey through life of any human being. 

Key point, don’t hurry the journey. 

In case you missed earlier selections in the Poems for my Family series, here is Lawrence Durrell, John Donne,  Robert Frost, and W.B. Yeats.

 

Source: Constantine Cavafy, ‘Ithaka’, trans. by Edmund Keeley in C.P. Cavafy: Collected Poems, trans. Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard © 1975, 1992 Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard.  The full text, reprinted with permission of Princeton University Press, can be found on the Poetry Foundation website. 

Photo credit: stodwa at pixabay

WritingRedux Podcast

Poems for my Family 006 - Cavafy - Ithaka

To listen to this podcast on Spotify, click here.

And for more of our podcasts, click the icon below to listen on WritingRedux – or follow us on Spotify and Spotify for Podcasters.

Click to browse other podcasts

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest