The City The Canon
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You said: Ill go to another country, go to another shore,
find another city better than this one.
Whatever I try to do is fated to turn out wrong
and my heart lies buried as though it were something dead.
How long can I let my mind moulder in this place?
Wherever I turn, wherever I happen to look,
I see the black ruins of my life, here,
where Ive spent so many years, wasted them, destroyed them totally.
 
You wont find a new country, wont find another shore.
This city will always pursue you. You will walk
the same streets, grow old in the same neighborhoods,
will turn gray in these same houses.
You will always end up in this city. Dont hope for things elsewhere:
there is no ship for you, there is no road.
As youve wasted your life here, in this small corner,
youve destroyed it everywhere else in the world.

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 Stratis Haviaras

- Translation by George Valassopoulo