Significance The Canon
The years of my youth, my life of pleasure ―
how well I grasp their significance now.
Regrets are so unnecessary and pointless.
But at the time I couldn’t grasp their significance.
In the wanton ways of my youth
the course of my poetry was laid out,
the contours of my art were fashioned.
That’s why the regrets never took hold,
and any resolve toward restraint or change
lasted never more than a week or two, at best.

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