This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Ithaka by Constantine P Cavafy

Robert Louis Stevenson said 'to travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive, and the true success is to labour'

It's a bit grim when you see the whole quotation, isn't it?

Luckily Constantine P Cavafy, in his short poem Ithaka (or Ithaca, if you like: I know it rouses strong passions either way), has a richer take on the idea of travel.

You can read the whole text HERE (and I do recommend it) but here is one stanza, translated from the original Greek by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard.

Hope the voyage is a long one,
May there be a summer morning when,
With what pleasure, what joy,
you come into harbors seen for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind -
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars.


Oh, the delicate glory of that shower of blessings! 

May they fall around you, too.

Word To Use Today: voyage. This word comes from the Old French veiage, from the Latin viāticum, food for travelling, from via, road.

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