Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2007 12:21 PM
Subject: Konstantine Kavafy and "Ithaka" (For Skye)
This poem is dedicated to my friend Skye. My favourite Greek poet
and his famous poem "Ithaka".
As you set out for Ithaka
hope your road is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
angry Poseidon - don't be afraid of them:
you'll never find things like that one on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
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 your road is a long one.
May there be many summer mornings when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you enter harbours you're seeing for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfumes of every kind -
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to learn and go on learning from their scholars.
Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you're destined for.
But don't hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you're old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you've gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.
Ithaka gave you the marvellous journey.
Without her you wouldn't 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'll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean
An alternative translation of "Ithaka"
Constantine P. Cavafy
.......Well that's going on my blog too! I love it. You sent it at such perfect timing too.I've been on a long journey and am about to turn another bend in the road (yes often the road less traveled.) I've been trying to explain to my new business coach (friend returned from the past) that as much as I know and adore my future... I am really enjoying my present too. It's sometimes difficult to get one's self all motivated and fired up to move into a new direction when the current situation is really quite comfortable. But you are right, "Ithaka" is and always has been the destination. So, I'll get up off of my duff and get on with heading around that next bend in the road. It's time for that spot on my journey.Did I mention that I'm editing through my unpublished autobiography too?And the part about only seeing the monsters if you decide to bring them along... now there's a lesson I didn't enjoy learning, but am sure grateful now that it's done!