centralasian (centralasian) wrote,
centralasian
centralasian

[BOY] Ithaka

As you set our for Ithaka
hope the voyage is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
angry Poseidon - don't be afraid of them:
you'll never find things like that in your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
angry Poseidon - you wont' encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

Hope that voyage is a long one.
May there be many a summer morning when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
your come into harbors seen for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony
sensual perfume of every kind -
as many sensual perfumes you can,
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you are destined for.
But do not hurrey the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you are old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you have gained in the way
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

Ithaka gaye you the marvelous journey.
Without her, your would not have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka won't have deceived you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.


CP Cavafy, translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard

 


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