Morning Sea

You'll find no new places, you won't find other shores
The city will follow you. The streets in which you pace
will be the same, you'll haunt the same familiar places,
and inside those same houses you'll grow old.
You'll always end up in this city

- Cavafy

Morning Sea

by C. P. Cavafy
translation by Daniel Mendelsohn

Here let me stop. Let me too look at nature for a while.
The morning sea and cloudless sky
a brilliant blue, the yellow shore; all 
beautiful and grand in the light.

Here let me stop. Let me fool myself: that these are 
     what I see
(I really saw them for a moment when I first stopped)
instead of seeing, even here, my fantasies,
my recollections, the ikons of pleasure.

[1916, copyright Knopff, Mendelsohn]

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