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.
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.
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