But the Wise Perceive Things about to Happen The Canon
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                                “For the gods perceive future things,
                                ordinary people things in the present, but
                                the wise perceive things about to happen.”
                               
                                Philostratos, Life of Apollonios of Tyana, viii, 7.
 
 
Ordinary people know what’s happening now,
the gods know future things
because they alone are totally enlightened.
Of what’s to come the wise perceive
things about to happen.
 
Sometimes during moments of intense study
their hearing’s troubled: the hidden sound
of things approaching reaches them,
and they listen reverently, while in the street outside
the people hear nothing whatsoever.

Translated by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard

(C.P. Cavafy, Collected Poems. Translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard. Edited by George Savidis. Revised Edition. Princeton University Press, 1992)

- Original Greek Poem