Understanding The Canon
The years of my youth, my sensual life—
how clearly I see their meaning now.
How needless the repentance, how futile...
But I didn’t see the meaning then.
In the loose living of my early years
the impulses of my poetry were shaped,
the boundaries of my art were laid down.
That’s why the repentance was so fickle.
And my resolutions to hold back, to change,
lasted two weeks at the most.

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 Stratis Haviaras