Sunday, November 09, 2014


An Old Man

C.P. Cavafy (1863-1933), "An Old Man," tr. Evangelos Sachperoglou:
Deep inside the noisy café,
huddled over the table sits an old man,
with a newspaper in front of him, all alone.

And in the indignity of his miserable old age
he ponders on how little he enjoyed the years
when he had vigour, eloquence, and looks.

He knows that he has aged a lot; he senses it, he sees it.
And yet the time when he was young seems like
yesterday. What a short span of time, what a short span.

And he reflects on how Prudence deceived him;
and how he always trusted her—what folly!—
that liar who used to say: 'Tomorrow. You still have plenty of time.'

He recalls impulses that he restrained; and how much
joy he sacrificed. Every lost opportunity
now mocks his mindless wisdom.

...But from too much reflection and reminiscence
the old man becomes dizzy. And he falls asleep
leaning upon the table of the café.

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