Journey

"...And if you find her poor, Ithaka won't have fooled you. Wise as you will have become, so full of experience, you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean."

This is one of my favorite poems, which I would like to share it with all you...


Ithaca
When setting out upon your journey to Ithaca,
wish always that your course be long,
full of adventure, full of knowledge.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the angry Poseidon -- do not fear them:
You will never find such as these on your path,
if your thoughts remain lofty, if a fine
emotion touches your spirit and your body.
Neither the Lestrygonians nor the Cyclops,
nor the fierce Poseidon you will ever encounter,
if you do not carry them within your soul,
if your soul does not set them up before you.

Wish always that your course be long.
That the summer mornings are many, when,
with such pleasure, with such great joy
you will enter ports seen for the first time;
that you may stop at some Phoenician markets,
to purchase there the best of wares,
mother-of-pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and hedonic perfumes of all kinds,
as many hedonic perfumes as you can;
that you may go to various Egyptian towns,
to learn, and learn from the scholars there.

Always keep Ithaca in your mind.
Your reaching there is your ultimate goal.
But do not rush your journey at all.
It is better to let it last for many years;
and anchor at the island when you are old,
enriched by all you gained upon the way,
not expecting Ithaca to offer you further wealth.

For Ithaca has given you the lovely journey.
Without her you would have never set your course.
There is no more that she can give you.

And then, if Ithaca seems too lean, you have not been deceived.
As wise as you have become, with such experience,
you must already have understood what Ithaca stands for.

Constantine P. Cavafy (1911)

And, the Greek version of the poem....

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