Since Nine ― The Canon
Half past twelve. Time’s sped by
since nine, when I first lit the lamp
and took a seat here. I’ve sat, neither reading
nor talking. Alone with myself in this house.
Who is there with whom I might talk?
Since nine, when I first lit the lamp,
the shade of my youthful being
has sought me out to remind me
of shuttered and scented rooms,
of fleshly pleasures past ― such pleasures!
And it has revealed to me, as well,
streets now become unrecognizable,
teeming nightclubs long since shuttered,
theaters and cafés that are no more.
The shade of my youthful being
has shown me the sources of sorrow, as well:
the grief of families, the separations,
sentiments of my own kin, sentiments
of the departed so little esteemed.
Half-past twelve. How the hours have sped by.
Half-past twelve. How the years have sped by.

Translated by Stratis Haviaras

(C.P. Cavafy, The Canon. Translated from the Greek by Stratis Haviaras, Hermes Publishing, 2004)

- Original Greek Poem

- Translation by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard

- Translation by Daniel Mendelsohn