ITHAKA


As you set out for Ithaka
hope your road is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
angry Poseidon – don’t be afraid of them:
you’ll never find things like that one on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
wild Poseidon – you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

Hope your road is a long one.
May there be many summer mornings when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you enter harbours you’re seeing for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfumes of every kind –
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to learn and go on learning from their scholars.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you’re destined for.
But don’t hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you’re old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you’ve gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

Ithaka gave you the marvellous journey.
Without her you wouldn’t have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.
And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you’ll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean

By Constantine P. Cavafy

Constantine P. Cavafy (Kavafis), born in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1863, one of the most original and influential Greek poet of this century.

From Wikipedia

The Laestrygonians are a tribe of giant cannibals from ancient Greek mythology

In Greek mythology  a cyclops, is a member of a primordial race of giants, each with a single eye in the middle of its forehead.

In Greek mythology, Poseidon was the god of the sea.

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  1. Ananya
    December 24, 2009 at 05:18

    Thanks for sharing the beautiful philosophy 🙂

  2. saloniz
    December 30, 2009 at 11:08

    Lets go ItHaKa!

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