Monday, 12 December 2016

Poetry Revisited: Όσο Mπορείς – Best You Can by Constantine P. Cavafy

Όσο Mπορείς

(Από τα Ποιήματα: 1935)

Κι αν δεν μπορείς να κάμεις την ζωή σου όπως την θέλεις,
τούτο προσπάθησε τουλάχιστον
όσο μπορείς: μην την εξευτελίζεις
μες στην πολλή συνάφεια του κόσμου,
μες στες πολλές κινήσεις κι ομιλίες.

Μην την εξευτελίζεις πηαίνοντάς την,
γυρίζοντας συχνά κ’ εκθέτοντάς την
στων σχέσεων και των συναναστροφών
την καθημερινήν ανοησία,
ώς που να γίνει σα μια ξένη φορτική.

Κωνσταντίνος Π. Καβάφης (1863-1933)
Έλληνας ποιητής, δημοσιογράφος
και δημόσιος υπάλληλος

Best You Can

(from Poems: 1935)

And if you cannot lead your life as you wish,
So at least try
Best you can: do not disgrace it
With too much connection with the world,
With too much bustle and chatter.

Do not disgrace it walking about,
Often taking it and exposing it
In relations and contacts
To the daily madness,
As to become a burdensome hanger-on.

Constantine P. Cavafy (1863-1933)
Greek poet, journalist
and civil servant

English translation derived from Google Translate and revised by Edith LaGraziana with the help of different copyrighted translations reprinted on The Official Website of the Cavafy Archive


  1. Thank you for the translation. It sounds like she predicted Twitter!

    1. As a matter of fact, Constantine is really Constantinos, but for some reason most English sites (including Wikipedia) anglicise the male given name... I didn't think of the internet, when I posted this, but you're right - it fits!


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