Sunday, October 23, 2005

The free and responsible search

Constantine P. Cavafy

When you set out on your journey to Ithaca,
pray that the road is long,
full of adventure, full of knowledge.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the angry Poseidon – do not fear them:
You will never find such as these on your path,
if your thoughts remain lofty, if a fine
emotion touches your spirit and your body.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the fierce Poseidon you will never encounter,
if you do not carry them within your soul,
if your soul does not set them up before you.

Pray that the road is long.
That the summer mornings are many, when,
with such pleasure, with such joy
you will enter ports seen for the first time;
stop at Phoenician markets,
and purchase fine merchandise,
mother-of-pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and sensual perfumes of all kinds,
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
visit many Egyptian cities,
to learn and learn from those who have knowledge.

Always keep Ithaca in your mind.
To arrive there is your ultimate goal.
But do not hurry the voyage at all.
It is better to let it last for many years;
and to anchor at the island when you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.

Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.
Without her you would have never set out on the road.
She has nothing more to give you.

And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not deceived you.
Wise as you have become, with so much experience,
you must already have understood what Ithacas mean.


At October 31, 2005 at 6:20:00 PM EST, Blogger The Emerson Avenger said...

Breaking News. . .

At October 31, 2005 at 10:12:00 PM EST, Blogger fausto said...

That is very cool, Avenger.

Although it's not clear to me how they know they've found the right spot, if they also believe it was a figment of Homer's imagination.

At October 31, 2005 at 10:24:00 PM EST, Blogger The Emerson Avenger said...

Fausto a genuinely "responsible" ;-) search for the truth and meaning expressed in the article reveals that it says -

"However, *some* scholars and archaeologists have concluded that, although Troy was a real city, Ithaca must have reflected the imagination of the ancient Greek poet Homer."

Evidently Bittlestone and *other* scholars and archaeologists believed otherwise.

Allah prochaine,

The Emmerson Avenger


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