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More poems by C.P. CavafyC.P. Cavafy | Print this page.Print | View and Write CommentsComments | Books by C.P. CavafyBooks by C.P. Cavafy

Poseidonians

C.P. Cavafy

The Poseidonians forgot the Greek language
after so many centuries of mingling
with Tyrrhenians, Latins, and other foreigners.
The only thing surviving from their ancestors
was a Greek festival, with beautiful rites,
with lyres and flutes, contests and wreaths.
And it was their habit toward the festival's end
to tell each other about their ancient customs
and once again to speak Greek names
that only few of them still recognized.
And so their festival always had a melancholy ending
because they remebered that they too were Greeks,
they too once upon a time were citizens of Magna Graecia;
and how low they'd fallen now, what they'd become,
living and speaking like barbarians,
cut off so disastrously from the Greek way of life.


Translated by E. Keeley and P. Sherrard

Added: 9 Jan 2002 | Last Read: 22 Jan 2018 6:57 PM | Viewed: 3312 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/2252/ | Viewed on 22 January 2018.
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