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                                                                                                   Ithaka              

 

 
                                                                  As you set out for Ithaka

                                                                  hope your road is a long one,

                                                                  full of adventure, full of discovery.

                                                                  Laistrygonians, Cyclops,

                                                                  angry Poseidon-don´t be afraid of them:

                                                                  you´ll never find the things like that on your way

                                                                  as long as you keep thoughts raised high,

                                                                  as long as a rare excitement

                                                                  stirs your spirit and your body.

                                                                  Laistrygonians, Cyclops,         

                                                                  wild Poseidon-you won´t encounter them

                                                                  unless you bring them along inside your soul,

                                                                  unless your soul sets them up in front of you.               

 

                                                                  Hope your road is a long one.

                                                                  May there be many summer mornings when,

                                                                  with what pleasure, what joy,

                                                                  you enter harbors you´re seeing for the first time;

                                                                  may you stop at Phoenician trading stations

                                                                  to buy fine things,

                                                                  mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony.

                                                                  Sensual perfume of every kind-

                                                                  as many sensual perfumes as you can;

                                                                  and may you visit many Egyptian cities

                                                                  to learn and go on learning from their scholars.

 

                                                                  Keep Ithaka always in your mind.

                                                                  Arriving there is what you´re destined for.

                                                                  But don´t hurry the journey at all.

                                                                  Better if it lasts for years,

                                                                  so you´re old by the time you reach the island,

                                                                  wealthy with all you´ve gained on the way.

                                                                  Not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

 
                                                                  Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.

                                                                  Without her you wouldn´t have set out.

                                                                  She has nothing left to give you now.

 
                                                                  And if you find her poor, Ithaka won´t have fooled you.

                                                                  Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,

                                                                  you´ll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.

 

                                                                  Constantino P.Cavafy

                                                                  Greek Poet
 
 
 
 
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