Constantine P. Cavafy

(29 April 1863 – 29 April 1933 / Alexandria)

Young Men of Sidon

The actor they'd brought in to entertain them
also recited a few choice epigrams.
The room opened out on the garden
and the delicate odour of flowers
mingled with the scent
of the five perfumed young Sidonians.
There were readings from Meleager, Krinagoras, Rhianos.
But when the actor recited
'Here lies Aeschylus, the Athenian, son of Euphorion'
(stressing maybe more than he should have
'his renowned valour' and 'sacred Marathonian grove'),
a vivacious young man, mad about literature,
suddenly jumped up and said:
'I don't like that quatrain at all.
Sentiments of that kind seem somehow weak.
Give, I say, all your strength to your work,
make it your total concern. And don't forget your work
even in times of stress or when you begin to decline.
This is what I expect, what I demand of you
and not that you completely dismiss from your mind
the magnificent art of your tragedies
your Agamemnon, your marvellous Prometheus,
your representations of Orestes and Cassandra,
your Seven Against Thebes -merely to set down for your
that as an ordinary soldier, one of the herd,
you too fought against Datis and Artaphernis.'

Submitted: Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Young Men of Sidon by Constantine P. Cavafy )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley Updates

New Poems

  1. Is poem everything?, gajanan mishra
  2. Universal Creed, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  3. Chalo na phir shuruyaat krte hai, Ajeet Singh Dhruv
  4. Kaise mai ye likh deta hoon! !, Ajeet Singh Dhruv
  5. Final Frontier, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  6. Doors Of Destiny, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  7. Reproductions Through Music, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  8. Safest place, gajanan mishra
  9. To whom I am going, gajanan mishra
  10. In The Process Of Existence, Naveed Akram

Poem of the Day

poet Emily Dickinson


"Heaven"—is what I cannot reach!
The Apple on the Tree—
Provided it do hopeless—hang—
That—"Heaven" is—to Me!

...... Read complete »


Modern Poem

poet John Burroughs


Member Poem

[Hata Bildir]