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The Complete Poems

4.38 of 5 stars 4.38  ·  rating details  ·  599 ratings  ·  51 reviews
Cavafy, the foremost modern Greek poet, is a master at presenting a scene, an intense feeling, or an idea in direct, unornamented verse. Many of the poems are openly homosexual. Sixty-three newly translated poems have been added to the widely praised edition which includes the classic poem “Ithaca.” Introduction by W. H. Auden. Translated by Rae Dalven.
Paperback, 310 pages
Published October 4th 1976 by Mariner Books
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Η χρονιά που διανύουμε είναι αφιερωμένη στο μεγάλο ποιητής της Αλεξάνδρειας που κατάφερε να διακριθεί με το λιτό, απέριττο και ειρωνικό ποιητικό του λόγο αγγίζοντας διαχρονικά θέματα όπως η ήττα, ο θάνατος και τα γηρατειά.
من أجمل ما قرأت هذا العام
هذه الترجمة الجميلة للأعمال الكاملة للشاعر اليوناني السكندري قسطنطين كفافيس أعتبرها ضمن الكتب الأساسية أو المرجعية التي أضعها في متناول اليد للرجوع إليها كل حين, على اعتبار أن الإنسان لن ينتهي أبدا من قراءتها, مثلها في ذلك مثل كتب الملاحم والأساطير والكتب المقدسة, ومثل أعمال شكسبير وهوميروس ونجيب محفوظ وفرناندو بيسوا وكل شعراء وأدباء الإنسانية العظام

شعر كفافيس يمكن أن يوصف بالوصف الشائع "السهل الممتنع" وذلك لسهولة فهم شعره وطريقته المباشرة - بل وأحيانا التي تبدو "تعليمي
I was introduced to Greek poet C.P. Cavafy's work by Elizabeth Hand's Waking the Moon. The particular poem published in this book, In the Evening,...I wasn't quite prepared for it to captivate me and drench me into a state of bitter sweet melancholy and nostalgia. A fitting poem for a fascinating book. Determined to find out more about this poet, I then found the canon on the Internet. Such a treasure to discover.

I am confused however by the numerous translations. The versions differ, sometimes
Sep 19, 2015 Wayne rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: lyric lovers
Recommended to Wayne by: Dina, my Greek student
You never ever quite finish with a book of poetry. It is always waiting to be dipped into...always.
Like old friends,
a reunion is always on the cards and always a pleasure.

You go to poets or write poetry to get questions answered or to see the questions perfectly put. Or for some clarification. Not surprisingly, I was tempted to put the poetry books on the philosophy shelf. But they do deserve a shelf of their own.

Sadly many people don't feel comfortable around poetry.It makes me frustrated, the
Jun 09, 2009 Peter added it
But the windows are not found, or I cannot
find them. And perhaps it is better I do not find them.
Perhaps the light will be a new tyranny.
Who knows what new things it will show?


James Murphy
I've read other translations of Cavafy, most recently the newer one by Daniel Mendelsohn and that of Aliki Barnstone, published in 2006. Though this, by Rae Dalven, is earlier than either of those, I liked it very much if not more. This seems especially supple and relaxed. I think it's totally comfortable with itself, not at all self-conscious or pointing to the fact that this is a translation of an acclaimed and extraordinary body of work. Another pleasure here is that for the first time in rea ...more
Salah Ibrahem
الشبقية والميول الجنسية المثالية
الحضارة الهلينستية ومجدها الغابر
بيزنطة؛ الشرقية، والغربية والمسيحية
الوثنية وجوليان
بإختصار؛ كل ما سبق هو محور، ومنبع كتابات قسطنطنيوس بترو كفافيس.

قراءة الشعر مترجماً يفقدك نصف مذاقه، يفقدك تذوق جمال إختيار الألفاظ للتعبير عن معني ما، يفقدك تذوق جرس الألفاظ وظلالها، يفقدك تذوق إختيار البحر الشعري للتعبير عن تجربة ما تناسب حركات وسكنات هذا البحر-الموسيقي بشكل عام سواء كانت موسيقي داخلية أو خارجية، يفقدك الكثير والكثير. ولكن يتبقي لنا من الشعر المترجم؛ التعرف علي تجا
nunca le seguí la onda a Kavafis, esperé todo el libro a que me sorprendiera y nada...
Cooper Renner
5 stars doesn't mean that every poem here is a gem, but enough of them are gems to rank Cavafy very high. And the translator's notes are very helpful, especially on the poems set in the Byzantine and Hellenistic empires (which are, in my opinion, the best poems, as a general rule). Cavafy is sly, understated, full of heart.
Walaa R. Darwish
وحبي للحياة له تجلياته غير المفهومة بالنسبة للسُذج
وإذا ما أبديتها بصراحة أكبر ،فربما لن يتسع المجال الفني بما يكفي ليلائمني ،لن يكفيني
إنني أعمل كالقدماء ،فقد مارسوا الفلسفة وكتبوا التاريخ ودرامات المأساة الأسطورية
.. والكثيرون منهم متيمون مثلي
أحببت كفافي لا شك في ذلك ،كلماته بها سحر على الرغم من غموضها وصعوبة فهمها أحيانًا
ورغم اني على مدار الشهر كنت بحاول بقدر الامكان الا انتهي من الكتاب بسرعة لتفادي الاحساس بالحزن
لكن كالعادة تأجيل النهاية لا يمنع حدوثها
تقييم كتاب أحببته شيء بالغ الصعوبة ،خاصة إ
"... bir ikindi vakti saat dört gibi ayrılmıştık
sadece bir haftalığına... ne yazık ki
bir türlü bitmek bilmedi o hafta" (S.133)
I don't always read poetry, but when I do, I read Cavafy.
One of the great world poets, C.P. Cavafy, who lived a quiet life for seventy years, straddling the final third of the 19th century and the first third of the 20th century, publishing little and most of it privately. The work though was too miraculously good to remain known only in Alexandria, Eygpt, where the poet lived most of his life. Cavafy had a life output that covers just under 400 pages in Daniel Mendelsohn’s superbly realized Complete Poems, and that’s including sections titled, Publis ...more
Michael Lieberman
Daniel Mendelsohn has produced the definitive Cavafy for our time

Mendelsohn has completely retranslated all of Cavafy into English. As he says in the Introduction, [Cavafy's poetry is] "deeply, hauntingly rhythmical, sensuously assonant when not actually rhyming. It seemed to me worthwhile to try to replicate these elements whenever it was possible to do so." Since I know no Greek, my previous exposure to Cavafy has been the Dalven translation, and while the latter adequately captures the sense
Ian Martin
I am particularly fond of this book. I acquired it back in 1977, the year in which I discovered Cavafy. I like to look at the old fashioned photo on the cover. The poet has a mournfully introspective expression on his effeminately smooth face, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he was on the point of taking the handkerchief out of his breast pocket, removing his spectacles, and wiping away a tear. His silk tie looks sleek and sensual, a male adornment waiting to be caressed.

What appealed to me was h
Robert Beveridge
C. P. Cavafy, Complete Poems (Harvest, 1961)

In his introduction to this book, W. H. Auden repeatedly stresses that there are elements in the poems of Cavafy, "the foremost modern Greek poet" (in the defense of the publisher, Seferis and Ritsos had not yet emerged as major forces, and Odysseus Elytis was still a few years away from winning the Nobel Prize), that are untranslatable. That is true (as he goes on to say) about most works in translation, but when Auden describes the structure of Cavaf
This is an unalloyed pleasure. The translations are alive and read like the beautiful poetry that they must be in the author's own language. Mandelsohn's notes provide a wonderful guide to the content as well as Cavity's poetics as it shifts in tone from the 'artificial' literary Greek to the demotic. I appreciated the opportunity to read the unpublished poems but as excellent as the re-creations are, there has been much editorial guesswork in establishing the texts and the magic of the finished ...more
Michael Davis
There's very little in this volume that doesn't speak for itself. But if the reader of this review is torn between this—the 'Collected'—and a less expensive 'Selected', the introduction by Auden is worth the extra couple of dollars. It doesn't say anything revolutionary; but, then, neither does Cavafy. That's why they're admirable in their way.
Aug 17, 2014 Anne added it
Read this years ago and liked the following poems:
As much as you can
On the ship
For them to come
Good & Bad weather
Understood not
Ode & elegy of the roads
To the ladies
House with a garden
So powerful. I was raised on his poems & to view his words as an adult adds such depth & likewise a more profound respect.
Cavafy's poems fall broadly into two strands (admittedly a terrible over generalisation); his historical poems, specifically Ancient Greece and the politics of Ancient Rome. The other strand concerns the personal and these are the ones I keep returning to. Painfully honest and direct, the mood of many of these is melancholic "...And he ponders how Wisdom had deceived him; and how he always trusted her - what folly! - the liar who would say, "Tomorrow. You have ample time."
He recalls impulses he
Oh alma, has de temer lo fastuoso,
y debes dominar tus propias ambiciones,
y, si no puedes, con reservas y recelo
las deberías seguir. Y cuanto más destaques,
más celo y atención has de poner.

Y cuando, César ya, alcances tu apogeo,
cuando tomes la forma de un hombre renombrado,
entonces, sobre todo, ten cuidado cuando salgas,
todo un caudillo rodeado por su escolta;
No dejes de apartar a los que te saludan
y te hacen reverencias (ya los verás mas tarde).
Y que espere el Senado también.

Jeff Laughlin
Three of my favorite poems in history are in this book, including "Waiting for the Barbarians." There is a more complete version of this book now, with a new translator and more poems. I have that one too, but there are some word choices I don't agree with-- or maybe like?-- so I stick with this translation. It's all a matter of taste, of course. I like the word "flippant" more than the word "dilettante." Things like that don't really matter. I like hats too, if that's a thing and it most certai ...more
I'm not sure if this is the version of Cavafy's collected poems of which I'm thinking. Cavafy has this poem, Gray, of which I've only read one great translation of the last few lines. From memory, it's something like

and, memory, bring back tonight
all that you can of this love of mine,
all that you can.

Every other translation botches it at the end. If I could find who the translator was of the above version, I think that life might make more sense to me, if that makes sense.
The pretentious person's book of poetry. Cavafy does that annoying thing that some poets like to do which is to make a billion Obscure references to history, philosophy, etc. all within one poem that on the surface seems to be about love. (I assure you this is not a fun game!) Rather, this makes for annoying reading. I would recommend this work if you really like knowing about obscure ancient homosexual poets that nobody else at the cocktail party will know about.
James Miller
Cavafy is truly wonderful and this was a fabulous translation. The copious notes really helped with some of the more abstruse references (even as a classicist I was lost in some of the details of the Hellenistic and Byzantine monarchies).

The ebook was not well arranged (it has no way to get from poems to notes, just notes to poems, but who reads a book from endnotes back?), but that is hardly a criticism of the poet or his translator.

I particularly enjoyed Ithaka.
A lot of history and melodrama, but so little poetry. So little of Cavafy's verse is worthwhile. Prosaic, cliched, dead. I am so near to shredding the book. Every boy is young and muscular and beautiful and godlike, and these are the only descriptives this sort of a poet uses to describe the men he fancies. I'm giving this book a star as an appreciation of Mendelson's laborious—to the point of being unnecessary—commentary. Such a damn waste of resources.
Harika hazırlanmış bir kitap. Arkadaki referanslar, onlar olmadan benim için bir anlam taşıyamayacak bir çok şiiri okumamı mümkün kıldı. Kağıt seçimi, Yunanca orjinal adların bulunması, sayfa düzeni ile uzun zamandır elime aldığım en iyi "şiir kitabı". Kavafis şiirleri ile ilgili yorum yapmak gibi bir eyleme girişmiyorum.

İstos'a teşekkürler.

To me, Cavafy is the poet of poets. He reunites sensitivity, erudition, sensuality and a deep sense of the here and now and of life. I found him in an antology of Greek poets as a teen and he alone stayed with me- I just had to read more. Like Mary Renault, Graves and other writers, Cavafy speaks to the Pagan soul long before it knows itself.
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Constantine P. Cavafy (also known as Konstantin or Konstantinos Petrou Kavafis, or Kavaphes; Greek Κωνσταντίνος Π. Καβάφης) was a major Greek poet who worked as a journalist and civil servant. He has been called a skeptic and a neo-pagan. In his poetry he examines critically some aspects of Christianity, patriotism, and homosexuality, though he was not always comfortable with his role as a nonconf ...more
More about C.P. Cavafy...
Collected Poems Τα Ποιήματα 1897-1933 Ithaka Selected Poems K. P. Kavafis

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