At the Café Door The Canon
Something I overheard them saying at my side
directed my attention to the café door:
and I beheld the human body glorified
as though the craftsman had been Love and had applied
his full experience — shaping by his joyous lore
each part symmetrical; creating perfect grace
through perfect stature; shaping tenderly the face,
and leaving from the touches of his finger-tips
a sentiment about the brow, the eyes, the lips.

Translated by John Cavafy

(Poems by C. P. Cavafy. Translated, from the Greek, by J. C. Cavafy. Ikaros, 2003)

- Original Greek Poem

- Translation by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard