C.P. Cavafy, “Ithaka”

As you set out for Ithaka
hope the voyage is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them:
you’ll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.
 
Hope the voyage is a long one.
May there be many a summer morning when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you come into harbors seen for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind—
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars.
 
Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you are destined for.
But do not hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you are old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.
 
Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.
 
And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.

Translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard


(source; submitted by daywhite)

  1. iamhumanstupidity reblogged this from sharingpoetry
  2. jaimeswhitecloak reblogged this from sharingpoetry
  3. acheronxcarter reblogged this from sharingpoetry
  4. worried--shoes reblogged this from sharingpoetry
  5. wunderkammer2014 reblogged this from sharingpoetry
  6. lightofnight reblogged this from sharingpoetry
  7. rainbody reblogged this from sharingpoetry
  8. dorianthevampire reblogged this from sharingpoetry
  9. adriennethology reblogged this from sharingpoetry
  10. kayeserasera reblogged this from sharingpoetry
  11. andthisisthestoryivetold reblogged this from sharingpoetry
  12. polytropia reblogged this from sharingpoetry
  13. detrimentalreliance reblogged this from girlintharsiscity
  14. therealvern reblogged this from lavendersprigsandcoffee and added:
    Ha. I had to memorize and recite this poem for English during my freshman year of high school
  15. lavendersprigsandcoffee reblogged this from sharingpoetry
  16. theatricallyinclined reblogged this from sharingpoetry
  17. ekalbacher reblogged this from sharingpoetry
  18. heyitsjwang reblogged this from sharingpoetry and added:
    This poem reminds me to live for and in the present, through good or bad, instead of allowing the distance from my...
  19. whatmyheartfound reblogged this from sharingpoetry
  20. taylorsierra reblogged this from sharingpoetry
  21. susurrantpetrichor reblogged this from sharingpoetry and added:
    As you set out for Ithaka hope the voyage is a long one, full of adventure, full of discovery. Laistrygonians and...
  22. mccruiz reblogged this from sharingpoetry
  23. thefrenchphantom reblogged this from sharingpoetry
  24. meallaaoi reblogged this from discoginger and added:
    …I did a biography of Cafavy for an English project in 10th grade… And then I went to Ithaca College… O.O
  25. thealaina reblogged this from sharingpoetry
  26. madjulie reblogged this from sharingpoetry
  27. backtobassics reblogged this from sharingpoetry
  28. tyb reblogged this from sharingpoetry
  29. discoginger reblogged this from sharingpoetry
  30. snowonredearth reblogged this from sharingpoetry