C.P.Cavafy - 150 years from his birth, 80 years from his death

C.P. Cavafy (Constantinos Cavafis), the most important modern Greek poet, was born 150 years ago today (April 29, 1863) and died 80 years today (April 29, 1933) in Alexandria, Egypt. Two Greeks -both poets- have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature but Cavafy was not one of them. However, he is widely considered to be the greatest and most influential of Greek poets, transcending the barriers of language, ethnicity and time to appeal to persons from all walks of life without even letting you suspect that his poems were written 100 years ago.

A bust of C.P. Cavafy has been placed on Plateia Egyptou (i.e. Egypt's Square) at the corner of Alexandras Ave. and Patission St.
Bust of C.P. Cavafy, Plateia Egyptou, Athens, Greece

The side inscription, in Greek, informs us that it is a gift from Anestis Papastefanou, Honorary President of the Association of the Greek diaspora of Egypt, while a smaller carving on the side reveals that it was created by sculptor Costas Valsamis in 1982.
Bust of C.P. Cavafy (side-inscription), Plateia Egyptou, Athens, Greece

As I've written elsewhere, "Ithaca", his most famous poem, was one of only a handful of readings I remember from my school days and that is not accidental. 

Athens-wise, there is also a small street named after Cavafy, at the Kato Patissia neighborhood, and a few others, all minor side-streets, in the suburbs. All in all, a total of 1440meters -less than a mile- of roadway (as measured through Google maps) dedicated to the greatest Greek poet ever born. Considering the overall state and ethic of Greek town administrations it's no surprise and  probably it's for the better after all.

View Places related to C.P. Cavafy in a larger map

There will be various events comemmorating his birth (and death) this year in Greece, but the best thing you can do is pick up one of his books and really delve into his poetry. You may find translations in various languages, including English.

C.P. Cavafy in Amazon.com
C.P. Cavafy in Amazon.co.uk

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