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 Café Entrance’, and creates exquisite miniatures of everyday life in ‘An Old Man’ and ‘Of the Shop’.
“One of the greatest poets of our time.”
—E. M. Forster
“ Ever since I was first introduced to his poetry . . . Cavafy has remained an influence on my writing.”
—W. H. Auden