translated from the Greek by George Economou
Constantine P. Cavafy (1863 - 1933) is considered one of the greatest Greek poets of all time. He described his life in these words: "I am from Constantinople by descent, but I was born in Alexandria—at a house on Seriph Street; I left very young, and spent much of my childhood in England. Subsequently I visited this country as an adult, but for a short period of time. I have also lived in France. During my adolescence I lived over two years in Constantinople. It has been many years since I last visited Greece. My last employment was as a clerk at a government office under the Ministry of Public Works of Egypt. I know English, French, and a little Italian."
George Economou is the author of twelve books of poetry and translations, the latest of which are Ananios of Kleitor (Shearsman, 2009), Half an Hour, translations of Cavafy (Stop Press of London, 2008), and Acts of Love, Ancient Greek Poetry from Aphrodite's Garden (Random House, 2006). Educated at Colgate (A.B. 1956) and Columbia (M.A. 1957, Ph.D. 1967) Universities, he has published many translations from ancient and Modern Greek and medieval European languages, including William Langland's Piers Plowman (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996). A critic and scholar of medieval literature, he is the author of The Goddess Natura in Medieval Literature (Harvard University Press, 1972; reprinted, University of Notre Dame Press, 2002) and numerous other studies, including an edition of the late Paul Blackburn's troubadour translations, Proensa (University of California Press, 1978). A founding editor of The Chelsea Review and co-founder of Trobar and Trobar Books, he has published many critical reviews and essays. A Rockefeller Fellow at Bellagio, he has been named twice as an NEA Fellow in Poetry.