Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Craftsman of Wine Bowls

On this wine bowl          of pure silver—
destined for the home          of Heracleides,
where discerning taste          and elegance reside—
I've engraved flowers,          streams and thyme,
and in their midst          a handsome youth,
naked and erotic,          dangling his leg
in the water still.          I prayed, memory,
that I'd find in you          an ally strong enough to render
the face of this youth,          whom I loved, just as it once was.
It will not be easy,          as it has been
some fifteen years          from the day he fell,
a soldier,          in the battle of Magnesia.

Credit


From C. P. Cavafy: Selected Poems translated by Avi Sharon. Published by Penguin Classics. Copyright © 2008 by Avi Sharon. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

Author


C. P. Cavafy

Constantine Cavafy was born Konstantínos Pétrou Kaváfis in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1863 and was considered by many to be the most original and influential Greek poet of the 20th century.

Date Published: 2008-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/craftsman-wine-bowls