|In this obscene photograph sold secretly
in the street (so the policeman won’t see)
in this lewd photograph,
how could there be such a dream-like face?
How did you get in there?
Who knows what a degrading, vulgar life you lead;
how horrible the surroundings must have been
when you posed to have this picture taken;
what a cheap soul you must have.
But in spite of all this, and even more, you remain for me
the dream-like face, the figure
shaped for and dedicated to the Greek kind of sensual pleasure—
that’s how you remain for me
and how my poetry speaks about you.
|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