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"Ithaca" By Konstantinos P. Kavafis

Sunday, March 31, 2013


When you leave for Ithaca,
may your journey be long
and full of adventures and knowledge.

Do not be afraid of Laestrigones, Cyclopes
or furious Poseidon;
you wonít come across them on your way
if you donít carry them in your soul,
if your soul does not put them in front of your steps.

I hope your road is long.

May there be many a summer morning,
and may ports for the first time seen
bring you great joy.

May you stop at Phoenician marts,
to purchase there the best of wares,
mother-of-pearl and coral, amber, ebony,
hedonic perfumes of all sorts;

may you go to various Egyptian towns
and learn from a people with so much to teach.

Donít lose sight of Ithaca,
for thatís your destination.
But take your time;
better that the journey lasts many a year
and that your boat only drops anchor on the island
when you have grown rich
with what you learned on the way.

Donít expect Ithaca to give you many riches.
Ithaca has already given you a fine voyage;
without Ithaca you would never have parted.
Ithaca gave you everything and can give you no more.
If in the end you think that Ithaca is poor,
donít think that she has cheated you.
Because you have grown wise and lived an intense life,
and thatís the meaning of Ithaca.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • EN10011
    There is a website where Lawrence Olivier recites this poem in English with music by Vangelis and with Elli Lambeti in Greek- they are breathtaking

    http://www.yout
    ube.com/watch?v=uok_CWwIWAo&lis
    t=PLTEb3WuRN4e_MzBzInY0Hg-bchs7
    kpTGl&index=2

    http://www
    .openculture.com/2012/09/sean_c
    onnery_reads_cp_cavafys_epic_po
    em_ithaca_set_to_the_music_of_vangelis.html


    1274 days ago
  • GOANNA2
    Beautiful words. Thanks for posting this. emoticon
    1275 days ago
  • SWIMMAN
    Thanks for this beautiful poem. The theme of the journey is such an important part of becoming healthier individuals, be whether we at first define our destination as a place or a number.
    1277 days ago
  • LOVINGAFRICA
    K! This blog is wonderful!
    Did you translate this poem?
    We never want to take the long journey. (If it is weightloss or emotional healing or acceptance or whatever Ithaca is for each of us)
    Thank you for making me see that a long journey is a blessing.
    Love
    Maria
    1277 days ago
  • HAPPY-DESTINY
    Loved the blog . . . I live in Ithaca, NY!
    1277 days ago
  • GETSTRONGRRR
    Nice! Makes me want to go there!
    1277 days ago
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