C. P. Cavafy is one of the most singular and poignant voices of twentieth-century European poetry, conjuring a magical interior world through lyrical evocations of remembered passions, imagined monologues and dramatic retellings of his native Alexandria's ancient past. Figures from antiquity speak with telling interruptions from the author in such poems as 'Anna Comnena' and 'You did not understand', while precise moments of history are seen with a sense of foreboding, as in 'Ides of March', 'The God Abandoning Antony' and 'Nero's Deadline'. And in poems that draw on his own life and surroundings, Cavafy recalls illicit trysts or glimpses of beautiful young men in 'One Night', 'I have gazed so much' and 'The Cafe Entrance', and creates exquisite miniatures of everyday life in 'An Old Man' and 'Of the Shop'.
Winner of the prestigious Harold Morton Landon Translation Award 2009
Constantine P. Cavafy was born on 29 April 1863 in Alexandria, Egypt, to Greek parents. He lived in Liverpool and Constantinople as well as Alexandria. He worked as a journalist and as a civil servant, publishing his early poetry in broadsheet form to show to his close friends. His style was very different to most contemporary Greek poetry and his poems were largely unappreciated until the 1920s and his reputation really grew posthumously. He died on 29 April 1933, his 70th birthday. Avi Sharon is a professor of Classics and the Humanities and has taught in New York, Boston, and Athens, Greece. He is active as a translator of ancient and modern Greek, Italian, and Hebrew verse and has published his work in magazines such as Arion, Partisan Review, Dialogos and International Quarterly.