Dangerous Thoughts The Canon
Print
Said Myrtias (a Syrian student
in Alexandria during the reign
of the Emperor Konstans and the Emperor Konstantios;
in part a heathen, in part christianized):
“Strengthened by study and reflection.
I won’t fear my passions like a coward;
I’ll give my body to sensual pleasures,
to enjoyments I’ve dreamed of,
to the most audacious erotic desires,
to the lascivious impulses of my blood,
with no fear at all, because when I wish—
and I’ll have the will-power, strengthened
as I shall be by study and reflection—
when I wish, at critical moments I will recover
my spirit, ascetic as it was before.”

Translated by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard

(C.P. Cavafy, Collected Poems. Translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard. Edited by George Savidis. Revised Edition. Princeton University Press, 1992)

- Original Greek Poem

- Translation by John Cavafy

- Translation by George Valassopoulo