Poetry Friday: The City

February 20th, 2009

This week’s poem was selected by Stenhouse web coordinator Zsofi McMullin.

This poem by Constantine Cavafy, a Greek poet, has always been one of my favorites. I have always been attracted to and mystified by the idea that where we come from, our origins, determine our destiny. It’s not just our ancestors or our DNA that shape who we are, but also the places where we lived, loved, learned.

The City
Constantine Cavafy

You said: “I’ll go to another country, go to another shore,
find another city better than this one.
Whatever I try to do is fated to turn out wrong
and my heart lies buried as though it were something dead.
How long can I let my mind moulder in this place?
Wherever I turn, wherever I happen to look,
I see the black ruins of my life, here,
where I’ve spent so many years, wasted them, destroyed them totally.”

Read the entire poem here

Entry Filed under: Poetry Friday

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Mary Lee  |  February 24th, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    Interesting choice. I’m happy to disagree with the poet. Rather than be ruined by the places I’ve lived, I choose to believe that I have been invented by them!

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