The City – C.P. Cavafy
Translated by Vasiliki Poula
You said: “I will go, to some other land, some other sea.
Another city will be found, better than this.
Every effort of mine is fated to fail;
and my heart lies buried like someone dead.
My mind – how long is it to molder in this decay?
Wherever I turn, wherever I may look,
I see the black ruins of my life, here,
Where so many years I spent and ruined and wasted.”
There’s no new land, no new sea;
For the city will follow you. You will roam the same
streets. And you will age in the same neighborhoods;
and you will grow gray in these same houses.
Always you will arrive in this city.
Do not hope for any other –
There is no ship for you, there is no road.
Ah, don’t you see – just as you’ve destroyed your life, here
in this tiny corner, so you’ve wasted it through all the world.