The Complete Poems Of C.P.Cavafy

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As this poem illustrates, Cavafy is one of the very few poets who can write a patriotic poem that is not embarrassing.

In most poetic expressions of patriotism, it is impossible to distinguish what is one of the greatest human virtues from the worst human vice, collective egotism.

The virtue of patriotism has generally been extolled most loudly and publicly by nations that are in the process of conquering others, by the Romans, for example, in the first century Bc.

The French in the 1790s, the English in the nineteenth century, and the Germans in the first half of the twentieth.

To such people, love of one’s country involves denying ing the night of others, of the Cauls, the Italians, the Indians.

The Poles, to love theirs Moreover, even when a nation is not actively aggressive, the genuineness of its patriotic feelings remains in doubt so long as it is rich, powerful, and respected.

Will the feeling survive if that nation should become poor and of no political account and aware, also, that ats decree is final, that there is no hope for the return of its former glory?

In this age, no matter to which country we belong, the future is uncertain enough to make this a real question for us all, and Cavafy’s poems are more topical than, at first reading, they seem.

In Cavafy’s Panhellenic world, there is one great object of love and loyalty of which defeat has not deprived them, the Greek language.

Even peoples to whom it had not originally been their native tongue have adopted it, and the language has become all the richer for having had to accommodate itself to sensibilities other than Attic.

AuthorW H Auden
PDF Size4.6 MB


C.P.Cavafy: The Complete Poems Book PDF Free Download

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