Edmund Keeley is Charles Barnwell Straut Professor of English Emeritus at Princeton. His latest books are Borderlines: A Memoir and the novel Some Wine for Remembrance. (November 2007)

Haunted Islands

Greece has had a particular fascination for Anglo-American anthropologists in this century, especially since World War II. Foreign visitors usually fall in love with what Henry Miller called “one’s own divine image reflected in a thousand dazzling facets.” But it is the modern culture of villages, whether on the mainland …

Return

The statues left first. A little later the trees, people, animals. The land became entirely desert. The wind blew. Newspapers and thorns circled in the streets. At dusk the lights went on by themselves. A man came back alone, looked round about him, took …

Three Poems by Constantine Cavafy

IONIC That we’ve broken their statues, that we’ve driven them out of their temples, doesn’t mean at all that the gods are dead. O land of Ionia, they’re still in love with you, their souls still keep your memory. When an August dawn wakes over …

Two Poems

JULIAN AT THE MYSTERIES But when he found himself in darkness, in the earth’s awful depths, with a group of unholy Greeks, and bodiless figures appeared before him with haloes of light, the young Julian for a moment lost his nerve: an impulse from …

Two Poems by C.P. Cavafy

IN A LARGE GREEK COLONY, 200 B.C. That things in the Colony aren’t what they should be no one can doubt any longer, and though in spite of everything we do move forward, maybe—as more than a few believe—the time has come to bring in a …

The Decision

Are you for or against? Either way, answer with a yes or a no. You’ve thought the problem over, I’m sure it’s given you trouble, most things in life are troublesome: children, women, insects, noxious plants, wasted hours, difficult passions, rotten teeth, …

King Claudius

This is one of sixty-two new poems of Cavafy, which were among the papers recovered by Cavafy’s Greek editor, George Savidis, several years ago. The papers were in the possession of Alexander Singopoulos, Cavafy’s heir, who has since died. Singopoulos was responsible for bringing out the first collected edition of …