Poem Ithaka by C.P. Cavity

Poem Ithaka by C.P. Cavity

What could better describe modern nomad living than this beautiful poem?

When you left for Ithaca.
I hope the journey is long,
full of adventures, full of discoveries.
Laistrygonians and Cyclopes,
angry Poseidon – don’t be afraid of them:
You’ll never find anything like this on your way.
as long as you hold up your thoughts,
as long as a rare excitement.
moves your mind and your body.
Laistrygonians and Cyclopes,
wild Poseidon – you won’t meet them.
unless you bring them into your soul,
unless your soul puts it before you.

I hope the journey is long.
May there be many a summer morning,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you come to ports you see for the first time;
you can stop at the Phoenician trading places.
to buy beautiful things,
Mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual scent of all kinds –
as many sensual scents as possible;
and may one visit many Egyptian cities.
to collect knowledge stores from their scholars.

Keep Ithaca always in your head.
To arrive there is what you are meant for.
But do not hurry with the journey.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you’ll be old when you get to the island,
wealthy with everything you’ve won along the way,
not to expect Ithaca to make you rich.

Ithaca gave you the wonderful journey.
Without it you would not have left.
Now she has nothing left to give you.

And if you find her poor, Ithaca will not have deceived you.
As wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you’ll understand what these Ithakas mean by then.


Reprint from C.P. CAVAFY: Collected Poems Revised Edition, translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard, edited by George Savidis. 

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator