THE COMPLETE POEMS OF CAVAFY by Rae- Dalven

THE COMPLETE POEMS OF CAVAFY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

One of the most civilized poets of this century has now been brought within the reach of an English-speaking audience in a careful and loving translation from the Greek by Rae Dalven. And another poet, W.H. Auden, contributes a glowing preface. The cosmopolitan Cavafy, born in Constantinople, educated in England, returned to Alexandria where, because of his love for Greek literature, he chose to become a Greek citizen. His is a unique and individual voice- which speaks for the dying and decaying Hellenic world- the world after the fall of Alexandria when Rome had established pseudo-states of no real power in Persia and Egypt. Caesarian, the Seleucid rulers, the Ptolemys are the names which cross the pages. But the great power and menace of Rome fills the air, and intermingled with the indulgence and incontinence of this Panhellenic world, is a nostalgia for classical Greece. Many of the finest poems are pervaded by a sense of doom and foreboding. His methods and means, however, are modern- his language economical and carefully chosen. All in all-his poetry offers detachment, a sense of beauty stripped by irony, a basic honesty and and individuality. It seems almost to reanimate the world of the Greek epigrammatic poets.

Pub Date: April 12th, 1961
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace