The Collected Poems of C. P. Cavafy: A New Translation

The Collected Poems of C. P. Cavafy: A New Translation

by C. P. Cavafy
     
 

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C. P. Cavafy (1863-1933) was called, by E. M. Forster, "one of the greatest poets of our time." Cavafy's work uncannily translates history, the record of the many, into an individual personal document; and though they are wickedly satirical, many of his poems are located in a landscape of intimacy. Drawing on the spectrum of ancient Greek poetic tradition, his poetry

Overview

C. P. Cavafy (1863-1933) was called, by E. M. Forster, "one of the greatest poets of our time." Cavafy's work uncannily translates history, the record of the many, into an individual personal document; and though they are wickedly satirical, many of his poems are located in a landscape of intimacy. Drawing on the spectrum of ancient Greek poetic tradition, his poetry is still internal, whether his speaker is a spoiled rich boy who plans to enter politics of a poor, ostracized, pure, and beautiful young man, destroyed by poverty and priggish social mores.

In these glimmering and lyrical translations, with an introduction and scholarly endnotes cowritten with Willis Barnstone, Aliki Barnstone has been faithful to the original Greek, capturing both Cavafy's song and his vernacular in ways neglected in previous translations, making Cavafy's verse breathe new music in English.

About the Author:
Aliki Barnstone teaches at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Editorial Reviews

Michael Dirda
At its best, his mature work hardly seems poetry at all. (Marguerite Yourcenar once likened his short pieces to reading notes or aides-memoires .) Cavafy prefers nouns and avoids epithets, uses rhyme sparingly if at all, offers lots of historical or physical detail, and typically casts a poem as a dramatic monologue. Even his titles are oddly prosaic, though touched with a kind of shabby grandeur: "A Byzantine nobleman in exile composing verses" or "The melancholy of Iason Kleandros, poet in Kommagini, 595 C.E." In fact, Cavafy gains most of his power, as the Greek poet George Seferis insists, when we view his work as "one and the same poem" and "read him with the feeling of the continuous presence of his work as a whole.
— The Washington Post
Library Journal
This new translation brings Cavafy into the 21st century, creating "something refined and polished" but entirely accessible, too. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Andrei Codrescu
“Cavafy’s simplicity, learning, pleasure in sex, tranquility in exile, have healed our anguish for over a century. . . . Cavafy’s deeply cultured melancholy and praise of learning and the body flow unimpeded in Barnstone’s translations.”
Sherod Santos
“How to capture a mind that roams both the Alexandrian streets outside his door and the god-haunted alleys of the Panhellenic past? I would venture to say that only a gifted poet could accomplish that task, and in Aliki Barnstone we have found that poet.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393061420
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
03/27/2006
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.00(d)

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Meet the Author

Aliki Barnstone’s translations have appeared in American Poetry Review, TriQuarterly, Virginia Quarterly Review, and other journals. An editor and critic, she lives in Las Vegas and teaches at UNLV.

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