The complete Cavafy poems - including the unfinished works - in a stunning new translation, published in the UK on the 150th anniversary of his birth and 80th anniversary of his death . No modern poet brought so vividly to life the history and culture of Mediterranean antiquity; no writer dared break, with such taut energy, the early twentieth-century taboos surrounding homoerotic desire; no poet before or since has so gracefully melded elegy and irony as the Alexandrian Greek poet Constantine Cavafy (1863-1933). Whether advising Odysseus as he returns home to Ithaca or portraying a doomed Marc Antony on the eve of his death, Cavafy's poetry makes the historical personal - and vice versa. He brings to his profound exploration of longing and loneliness, fate and loss, memory and identity the historian's assessing eye as well as the poet's compassionate heart. After more than a decade of work, Daniel Mendelsohn - an acclaimed, award-winning author and classicist who alone among Cavafy's translators shares the poet's deep intimacy with the ancient world - is uniquely positioned to give readers full access to Cavafy's genius.
This volume includes the first-ever English translation of thirty unfinished poems that Cavafy left in drafts when he died - a remarkable, hitherto unknown discovery that remained in the Cavafy Archive in Athens for decades. With Mendelsohn's in-depth introduction and commentary situating each work in a rich historical, literary, and biographical context, this revelatory new translation is a literary event - the definitive presentation of Cavafy in English.