And a return to some classic poetry….

Recently I’ve been dipping into Cavafy and Robert Lowell: Cavafy’s work I didn’t really know, and Lowell’s work is in an edition chosen by Michael Hofmann. As a fellow New-Englander, Lowell’s images have always resonated with me and his places are familiar. I like his work more and more as I get older: his regrets, weaknesses and insight. I have recently been in Boston Common and stopped to look at the memorial to the Union Dead of his famous poem. Cavafy is a surprise: so lithe and beautifully balanced. I love short poems filled with import!  And going back to Michael Hofmann’s taste, next I’m going to try his translations of Gottfried Benn.

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  1. Ah, Cavafy… “The God Abandons Antony”:

    “As one long prepared, and graced with courage,

    say goodbye to her, the Alexandria that is leaving.”

    To face the loss of illusion, to – in Leonard Cohen’s reworking – “go

    firmly to the window, drink it in…” (Alexandra Leaving)

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