For the Shop The Canon
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He wrapped them up carefully, neatly,
in expensive green silk.
Roses of rubies, lilies of pearl
violets of amethyst: beautiful according to his taste,
to his desire, his vision—not as he saw them in nature
or studied them. He’ll leave them in the safe,
examples of his bold, his skillful work.
Whenever a customer comes into the shop,
he brings out other things to sell—first class ornaments:
bracelets, chains, necklaces, rings.

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

- Translation by John Cavafy