On an Italian Shore The Canon
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Kimos, son of Menedoros, a young Greek-Italian,
devotes his life to amusing himself,
like most young men in Greater Greece
brought up in the lap of luxury.
 
But today, in spite of his nature,
he is preoccupied, dejected. Near the shore
he watches, deeply distressed, as they unload
ships with booty taken from the Peloponnese.
 
Greek loot: booty from Corinth.
 
Today certainly it is not right,
it is not possible for the young Greek-Italian
to want to amuse himself in any way.

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 James Merrill