K P Kavafis: One of Their Gods

greek market place

just walked through Seleukeia market

just as dusk was starting to fall

a tall youth of perfect beauty

with unquenchable joy in his eyes

with black and perfumed hair

and passers-by stared at him

and each asked each if they knew him

if he were a Syrian Greek, or a stranger

but some who looked more carefully

understood and moved aside

and out of sight beneath the colonnade

among the shadows, out of the evening light

making his way to the quarter that lives

fully at night, offering orgies and pleasures

and all kinds of drunkenness and lust

they would wonder which of Them he was

and for what guilty pleasure

he walked through the streets of Seleukeia

far from those sacred, honoured mansions

One of Their Gods

K P Kavafis

Translation © R J Dent (2009)


r j dent logo

Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s