My inspiration for blogging was a blog site, Time Goes By! Ronni Bennett, is just about the most consistently brilliant writer of a blog I have come across. When I had the idea for this blog, I thought it was a totally original idea, upon investigation I discovered that was not the case. There are thousands of people in our age group who are at home, sitting at their computers. Some good, some not so good, and some too long-winded. Many are trying to sell something but no one is as informed, interesting and generally knowledgable as Ronni. If you go to TGB, you can read her biography. I will see at the end of this little piece if I can remember how to link to TGB, if not I guess it is time to get my tutor back for another lesson.
Enjoy the poem and let me know how you liked it!
SINCE NINE by C.P. Cavafy (Translated by Daniel Mendelsohn)
Half past twelve. The time has quickly passed
since nine o’clock when I first turned up the lamp
and sat down here. I’ve been sitting without reading,
without speaking. With whom should I speak,
so utterly alone within this house?
The apparition of my youthful body,
since nine o’clock when I first turned up the lamp,
has come and found me and reminded me
of shuttered perfumed rooms
and of pleasure spent—what wanton pleasure!
And it also brought before my eyes
streets made unrecognizable by time,
bustling city centres that are no more
and theatres and cafés that existed long ago.
The apparition of my youthful body
came and also brought me cause for pain:
deaths in the family; separations;
the feelings of my loved ones, the feelings of
those long dead which I so little valued.
Half past twelve. How the time has passed.
Half past twelve. How the years have passed.
Constantine P. Cavafy was a widely admired Greek poet born in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1863. Following a few years with his family in Liverpool, England as a youth, he returned to and lived out his life in Alexandria.
He worked as a journalist, then as a public servant throughout his life while writing his poems. At first, he was recognized only in the Greek community of Alexandria, but later in his life became known in Greece itself. His poems were published privately until after his death in 1933 on his 70th birthday.
His home in Alexandria is now a museum where some of his original manuscripts and sketches on view.
I hope you enjoyed this poem as much as I did and I will get the hang of this linking thing. When you consider eighteen months ago, when I would arrive at my office I would have to ask my assistant to get my e-mail, because I only knew how to find it on my home computer, I’ve come a long way.