On Board Ship The Canon
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It’s like him, of course,
this little pencil portrait.
 
Hurriedly sketched, on the ship’s deck,
the afternoon magical,
the Ionian Sea around us.
 
It’s like him. But I remember him as better looking.
He was sensitive almost to the point of illness,
and this highlighted his expression.
He appears to me better looking
now that my soul brings him back, out of Time.
 
Out of Time. All these things are from very long ago—
the sketch, the ship, the afternoon.

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 Daniel Mendelsohn

- Translation by Don Paterson