I should have listened to Cavafy – a poem

I already made it to Ithaca, but I do not feel very old or very wise.

Perhaps I came here too soon after sunrise,

Thinking I knew how to be in the world,

When, in reality, I’ve still got a great deal to learn –

Laistrygonians and Cyclops of my own to conquer,

But I didn’t have the patience to wait any longer!

If I’d listened, I’d have known that happiness is a strife,

That it’s a bi-product, not an aim, of a fulfilling life.

That while I can encounter turquoise seas and crystal

Clear skies, I can’t feel them yet with my pair of eyes.

That my soul could be old as Odysseus himself,

But we’re only as whole as the tales and mistakes on our shelf.

I wish I’d known that hindsight can’t be hurried,

That I should laugh and run into the sea without worry,

To cherish love and romance enough, but not too much,

Knowing they’re both things that are built and not rushed.

Only seeing the best – no more and no less,

Until you meet the age when you can’t anymore.


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