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C. P. Cavafy: Collected Poems

C. P. Cavafy: Collected Poems Cover

 

Review-A-Day

"Cavafy did not publish a book in his lifetime; he preferred to distribute his poems to a few close friends in pamphlets printed at his own expense, partly in order to avoid the corruptions of the marketplace. But long before Forster "discovered" him, he was consciously writing in a cosmopolitan tradition." (read the entire Nation review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

An extraordinary literary event. The collected works—including the previously unpublished final poems—of the greatest modern Greek poet, translated by the renowned critic, classicist, and award-winning author of The Lost, and published simultaneously in two handsome volumes.

No modern poet brought so vividly to life the history and culture of Mediterranean antiquity; no writer dared break with such exquisite lyricism the early-twentieth-century taboos surrounding homoerotic desire; no poet before or since has so gracefully melded elegy and irony as the Alexandrian Greek poet Constantine P. Cavafy (1863–1933). Now, after more than a decade of work and study, and with the exclusive cooperation of the Cavafy Archive in Athens, Daniel Mendelsohn is uniquely positioned to reveal the full extent of Cavafy’s genius. Here at last is the remarkable music of his poetry, and the rhymes, assonances, and rhythms of the original Greek that have eluded previous translators.

The more than 250 works in Collected Poems cover the vast sweep of Hellenic civilization from the Trojan War through Cavafy’s own lifetime. Powerfully moving, searching, and wise, Cavafy’s poetry and the stories he tells—whether advising Odysseus as he sets out for Ithaca, or portraying a doomed Marc Antony on the night of his death—brilliantly make the historical personal. He also explores, with striking universality, longing and loneliness, fate and loss, memory and identity, all with a profound, humane sympathy. Including an in-depth introduction by Mendelsohn and extensive commentary that situates the work in a rich historical, literary, and biographical context, the Collected Poems is also a revelatory window into classics and classical history.

Equally exciting is the publication of The Unfinished Poems—thirty nearly complete drafts that Cavafy left behind at the time of his death, which languished in the Cavafy Archive for six decades and have never before been translated into English. These astonishing texts—as evocative and lyrical as Cavafy’s finished work—and the introduction and commentary that augment them, provide a fascinating glimpse into the poet’s creative process and allow the reader to take part in a major literary discovery.

These splendid translations will stand as definitive, firmly establishing Cavafy’s place in the pantheon of the finest artists of the modern era.

Review:

"Already a celebrated critic, memoirist and classicist, Mendelsohn drew together his interests in ancient history, literature, gay life and culture, and beautiful language to produce the finest, most readable version of the modern Greek poet Cavafy (1863 — 1933) to come along in decades. Cavafy has long been highly regarded by American readers, especially for the straightforward, seemingly timeless, hard-to-pin-down tone of his poems — which alternately revel in and suffer from both ancient Greek history and homoerotic desire — but, as Mendelsohn observes in his deeply impassioned and informative introduction, many American readers overlook 'those poems that are deliberately set in the obscurer margins, both geographical and temporal, of the Greek past... in favor of the works with more obvious contemporary appeal.' With this new, completely annotated, translation, Mendelsohn says he aims to 'restore the balance,' to help readers reanimate Greek history with Cavafy, to see how relevant and pressing his whole oeuvre truly is. This larger volume (Knopf is also publishing Mendelsohn's version of Cavafy's Unfinished Poems, never before translated into English, as a separate volume, reviewed below) contains all the poems by Cavafy we have known in English, from famous works like 'Ithaka' ('you will understand, by then, these Ithacas; what they mean') and 'The First Step' ('you must claim your right to be/ a citizen of the city of ideas'), all rendered with a lucid music. This is likely to be the definitive Cavafy for some time to come." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

An extraordinary literary event: the simultaneous publication of a brilliant and vivid new rendering of C. P. Cavafys Collected Poems and the first-ever English translation of the poets thirty Unfinished Poems, both featuring the fullest literary commentaries available in English—by the acclaimed critic, scholar, and award-winning author of The Lost.

No modern poet brought so vividly to life the history and culture of Mediterranean antiquity; no writer dared break, with such taut energy, the early-twentieth-century taboos surrounding homoerotic desire; no poet before or since has so gracefully melded elegy and irony as the Alexandrian Greek poet Constantine Cavafy (1863-1933). Now, after more than a decade of work and study, and with the cooperation of the Cavafy Archive in Athens, Daniel Mendelsohn—a classics scholar who alone among Cavafys translators shares the poets deep intimacy with the ancient world—is uniquely positioned to give readers full access to Cavafys genius. And we hear for the first time the remarkable music of his poetry: the sensuous rhymes, rich assonances, and strong rhythms of the original Greek that have eluded previous translators.

The more than 250 works collected in this volume, comprising all of the Published, Repudiated, and Unpublished poems, cover the vast sweep of Hellenic civilization, from the Trojan War through Cavafys own lifetime. Powerfully moving, searching and wise, whether advising Odysseus as he returns home to Ithaca or portraying a doomed Marc Antony on the eve of his death, Cavafys poetry brilliantly makes the historical personal—and vice versa. He brings to his profound exploration of longing and loneliness, fate and loss, memory and identity the historians assessing eye as well as the poets compassionate heart.

With its in-depth introduction and a helpful commentary that situates each work in a rich historical, literary, and biographical context, this revelatory new translation, together with The Unfinished Poems, is a cause for celebration—the definitive presentation of Cavafy in English.

About the Author

Daniel Mendelsohn’s previous books include The Elusive Embrace, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year, and The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million, an international best seller that won the National Book Critics Circle Award among many other honors. Mr. Mendelsohn is also the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the National Book Critics Circle Citation for Excellence in Reviewing, and the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism. He teaches at Bard College and lives in New York City and New Jersey.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Poet—Historian

A Note on Pronunciation of Proper Names

i

PUBLISHED POEMS

Poems 1905—1915

The City

The Satrapy

But Wise Men Apprehend What Is Imminent

Ides of March

Finished

The God Abandons Antony

Theodotus

Monotony

Ithaca

As Much As You Can

Trojans

King Demetrius

The Glory of the Ptolemies

The Retinue of Dionysus

The Battle of Magnesia

The Seleucids Displeasure

Orophernes

Alexandrian Kings

Philhellene

The Steps

Herodes Atticus

Sculptor from Tyana

The Tomb of Lysias the Grammarian

Tomb of Eurion

That Is He

Dangerous

Manuel Comnenus

In the Church

Very Rarely

In Stock

Painted

Morning Sea

Song of Ionia

In the Entrance of the Café

One Night

Come Back

Far Off

He Swears

I Went

Chandelier

Poems 1916—1918

Since Nine-

Comprehension

In the Presence of the Statue of Endymion

Envoys from Alexandria

Aristobulus

Caesarion

Neros Deadline

Safe Haven

One of Their Gods

Tomb of Lanes

Tomb of Iases

In a City of Osrhoene

Tomb of Ignatius

In the Month of Hathor

For Ammon, Who Died at 29 Years of Age, in 610

Aemilian Son of Monaës, an Alexandrian, 628—655 A.D.

Whenever They Are Aroused

To Pleasure

Ive Gazed So Much-

In the Street

The Window of the Tobacco Shop

Passage

In Evening

Gray

Below the House

The Next Table

Remember, Body

Days of 1903

Poems 1919—1933

The Afternoon Sun

To Stay

Of the Jews (50 A.D.)

Imenus

Aboard the Ship

Of Demetrius Soter (162—150 B.C.)

If Indeed He Died

Young Men of Sidon (400 A.D.)

That They Come-

Darius

Anna Comnena

Byzantine Noble, in Exile, Versifying

Their Beginning

Favour of Alexander Balas

Melancholy of Jason, Son of Cleander: Poet in Commagene: 595 A.D.

Demaratus

I Brought to Art

From the School of the Renowned Philosopher

Maker of Wine Bowls

Those Who Fought on Behalf of the Achaean League

For Antiochus Epiphanes

In an Old Book

In Despair

Julian, Seeing Indifference

Epitaph of Antiochus, King of Commagene

Theater of Sidon (400 A.D.)

Julian in Nicomedia

Before Time Could Alter Them

He Came to Read-

The Year 31 B.C. in Alexandria

John Cantacuzenus Triumphs

Temethus, an Antiochene: 400 A.D.

Of Colored Glass

The 25th Year of His Life

On the Italian Seashore

In the Boring Village

Apollonius of Tyana in Rhodes

Cleituss Illness

In a Municipality of Asia Minor

Priest of the Serapeum

In the Taverns

A Great Procession of Priests and Laymen

Sophist Departing from Syria

Julian and the Antiochenes

Anna Dalassene

Days of 1896

Two Young Men, 23 to 24Years Old

Greek Since Ancient Times

Days of 1901

You Didnt Understand

AYoung Man, Skilled in the Art of the Word-

in His 24th Year

In Sparta

Portrait of a Young Man of Twenty-Three Done by His Friend of the Same Age, an Amateur

In a Large Greek Colony, 200 B.C.

Potentate from Western Libya

Cimon Son of Learchus, 22 Years Old, Teacher of Greek Letters (in Cyrene)

On the March to Sinope

Days of 1909, 10, and 11

Myres: Alexandria in 340 A.D.

Alexander Jannaeus, and Alexandra

Beautiful, White Flowers As They Went So Well

Come Now, King of the Lacedaemonians

In the Same Space

The Mirror in the Entrance

He Asked About the Quality-

Should Have Taken the Trouble

According to the Formulas of Ancient Greco-Syrian Magicians

In 200 B.C.

Days of 1908

On the Outskirts of Antioch

Poems Published 1897—1908

Contents of the Sengopoulos Notebook

Voices

Longings

Candles

An Old Man

Prayer

Old Mens Souls

The First Step

Interruption

Thermopylae

Che Fece . . . Il Gran Rifiuto

The Windows

Walls

Waiting for the Barbarians

Betrayal

The Funeral of Sarpedon

The Horses of Achilles

ii

REPUDIATED POEMS

(1886—1898)

Brindisi

The Poet and the Muse

Builders

Word and Silence

Sham-el-Nessim

Bard

Vulnerant Omnes, Ultima Necat

Good and Bad Weather

Timolaus the Syracusan

Athenas Vote

The Inkwell

Sweet Voices

Elegy of the Flowers

Hours of Melancholy

Oedipus

Ode and Elegy of the Streets

Near an Open Window

A Love

Remembrance

The Death of the Emperor Tacitus

The Eumenides Footfalls

The Tears of Phaëthons Sisters

Ancient Tragedy

Horace in Athens

Voice from the Sea

The Tarentines Have Their Fun

The Funeral of Sarpedon

iii

UNPUBLISHED POEMS

(1877?—1923)

The Beyzade to His Lady-Love

Dünya Güzeli

When, My Friends, I Was in Love . . .

Nichori

Song of the Heart

To Stephanos Skilitsis

Correspondences According to Baudelaire

[Fragment of an untitled poem]

“Nous Nosons Plus Chanter les Roses”

Indian Image

Pelasgian Image

The Hereafter

The Mimiambs of Herodas

Azure Eyes

The Four Walls of My Room

Alexandrian Merchant

The Lagids Hospitality

In the Cemetery

Priams March by Night

Epitaph

Displeased Theatregoer

Before Jerusalem

Second Odyssey

He Who Fails

The Pawn

Dread

In the House of the Soul

Rain

La Jeunesse Blanche

Distinguishing Marks

Eternity

Confusion

Salome

Chaldean Image

Julian at the Mysteries

The Cat

The Bank of the Future

Impossible Things

Addition

Garlands

Lohengrin

Suspicion

Death of a General

The Intervention of the Gods

King Claudius

The Naval Battle

When the Watchman Saw the Light

The Enemies

Artificial Flowers

Strengthening

September of 1903

December 1903

January of 1904

On the Stairs

In the Theatre

Poseidonians

The End of Antony

27 June 1906, 2 P.M.

Hidden

Hearing of Love

“The Rest Shall I Tell in Hades to Those Below”

Thats How

Homecoming from Greece

Fugitives

Theophilus Palaeologus

And I Got Down and I Lay There in Their Beds

Half an Hour

House with Garden

A Great Feast at the House of Sosibius

Simeon

The Bandaged Shoulder

Coins

It Was Taken

From the Drawer

Prose Poems

The Regiment of Pleasure

Ships

Clothes

Poems Written in English

[More Happy Thou, Performing Member]

Leaving Therápia

Darkness and Shadows

Notes

Further Reading

Acknowledgments

Index of Titles

Product Details

ISBN:
9780375400964
Publisher:
Knopf
Subject:
General
Translator:
Mendelsohn, Daniel
Author:
Cavafy, Constantine
Author:
Mendelsohn, Daniel
Author:
Cavafy, C. P.
Subject:
Cavafy, Constantine
Subject:
European - General
Subject:
Continental european
Subject:
General Poetry
Subject:
Anthologies-Miscellaneous International Poetry
Publication Date:
20090407
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
2-COLOR FRONTISPIECE
Pages:
624
Dimensions:
9.61x6.45x1.50 in. 2.15 lbs.

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Miscellaneous International Poetry
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Sale Books
Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z

C. P. Cavafy: Collected Poems
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 624 pages Alfred A. Knopf - English 9780375400964 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Already a celebrated critic, memoirist and classicist, Mendelsohn drew together his interests in ancient history, literature, gay life and culture, and beautiful language to produce the finest, most readable version of the modern Greek poet Cavafy (1863 — 1933) to come along in decades. Cavafy has long been highly regarded by American readers, especially for the straightforward, seemingly timeless, hard-to-pin-down tone of his poems — which alternately revel in and suffer from both ancient Greek history and homoerotic desire — but, as Mendelsohn observes in his deeply impassioned and informative introduction, many American readers overlook 'those poems that are deliberately set in the obscurer margins, both geographical and temporal, of the Greek past... in favor of the works with more obvious contemporary appeal.' With this new, completely annotated, translation, Mendelsohn says he aims to 'restore the balance,' to help readers reanimate Greek history with Cavafy, to see how relevant and pressing his whole oeuvre truly is. This larger volume (Knopf is also publishing Mendelsohn's version of Cavafy's Unfinished Poems, never before translated into English, as a separate volume, reviewed below) contains all the poems by Cavafy we have known in English, from famous works like 'Ithaka' ('you will understand, by then, these Ithacas; what they mean') and 'The First Step' ('you must claim your right to be/ a citizen of the city of ideas'), all rendered with a lucid music. This is likely to be the definitive Cavafy for some time to come." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "Cavafy did not publish a book in his lifetime; he preferred to distribute his poems to a few close friends in pamphlets printed at his own expense, partly in order to avoid the corruptions of the marketplace. But long before Forster "discovered" him, he was consciously writing in a cosmopolitan tradition." (read the entire Nation review)
"Synopsis" by , An extraordinary literary event: the simultaneous publication of a brilliant and vivid new rendering of C. P. Cavafys Collected Poems and the first-ever English translation of the poets thirty Unfinished Poems, both featuring the fullest literary commentaries available in English—by the acclaimed critic, scholar, and award-winning author of The Lost.

No modern poet brought so vividly to life the history and culture of Mediterranean antiquity; no writer dared break, with such taut energy, the early-twentieth-century taboos surrounding homoerotic desire; no poet before or since has so gracefully melded elegy and irony as the Alexandrian Greek poet Constantine Cavafy (1863-1933). Now, after more than a decade of work and study, and with the cooperation of the Cavafy Archive in Athens, Daniel Mendelsohn—a classics scholar who alone among Cavafys translators shares the poets deep intimacy with the ancient world—is uniquely positioned to give readers full access to Cavafys genius. And we hear for the first time the remarkable music of his poetry: the sensuous rhymes, rich assonances, and strong rhythms of the original Greek that have eluded previous translators.

The more than 250 works collected in this volume, comprising all of the Published, Repudiated, and Unpublished poems, cover the vast sweep of Hellenic civilization, from the Trojan War through Cavafys own lifetime. Powerfully moving, searching and wise, whether advising Odysseus as he returns home to Ithaca or portraying a doomed Marc Antony on the eve of his death, Cavafys poetry brilliantly makes the historical personal—and vice versa. He brings to his profound exploration of longing and loneliness, fate and loss, memory and identity the historians assessing eye as well as the poets compassionate heart.

With its in-depth introduction and a helpful commentary that situates each work in a rich historical, literary, and biographical context, this revelatory new translation, together with The Unfinished Poems, is a cause for celebration—the definitive presentation of Cavafy in English.

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