Title: "This is NOT Ithaca"Ithaca is this:IthacaWhen you set out on the way to Ithakiwish for a long, eventful journey,full... Read More
Title: "This is NOT Ithaca"
Ithaca is this:
When you set out on the way to Ithaki wish for a long, eventful journey, full of adventure, full of understanding. Of Laistrygonians and Cyclops, the raging Poseidon, never be afraid. You’ll never find such things on your way if all your thoughts remain noble, and if your spirit and body are touched by worthy emotion. The Laistrygonians and Cyclops, the fierce Poseidon, will never be encountered if they’re not carried in your soul, and if your soul does not erect them on your path, before you.
Wish for a long, eventful journey. Many the summer mornings when you enter - in high spirits, joyful expectation - harbours first seen; in Phoenician emporiums you’ll stop to acquire good merchandise, mother-of-pearl and coral, ebony and amber, and every kind you find of heady perfumes, as many as you can get sensuous perfumes. In Egypt, you must visit many cities to learn all you can gather from their scholars.
Always keep Ithaki in your mind. Arriving there is your destination. But do not make haste, prolong your journey. Better it lasts for many a long year so that, when old, you’ll anchor at the island rich with all you’ve gained on the way, expecting no more riches from Ithaki.
Ithaki gave you the joyful journey. Without her you would not be on the way. There’s nothing else that she can give you now.
And if you find Ithaki poor, still she has not deceived you. With such amassed experience and wisdom, you’ll know by now the meaning of Ithakis.
This artwork started on 29/4/2022, the day that the poet Konstantinos Cavafy passed away, in 1933.
The poem was first published in the magazine Letters of October - November 1911, when the poet was forty-eight years old. It belongs to Cavafy's didactic poems.
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