Constantine P. Cavafy

29 April 1863 – 29 April 1933 / Alexandria

Of The Jews (A.D. 50)

Painter and poet, runner, discus-thrower,
beautiful as Endymion: Ianthis, son of Antony.
From a family on close terms with the Synagogue.
'My most valuable days are those
when I give up the pursuit of sensuous beauty,
when I desert the elegant and severe cult of Hellenism,
with its over-riding devotion
to perfectly shaped, corruptible white limbs,
and become the man I would want to remain forever:
son of the Jews, the holy Jews.'
A most fervent declaration on his part: '. . . to remain
a son of the Jews, the holy Jews.'
But he didn't remain anything of the kind.
The Hedonism and Art of Alexandria
kept him as their dedicated son.
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