“The rest I’ll speak of to the ones below in Hades” — C.P. Cavafy (translated by Seamus Heaney)

September 2, 2013 § Leave a comment

‘Yes,’ said the proconsul, replacing the scroll,
‘indeed the line is true. And beautiful.
Sophocles at his most philosophical. 
We’ll talk about a whole lot more down there
and be happy to be seen for what we are.
Here we’re like sentries, watching anxiously,
guarding every locked-up hurt and secret,
but all we cover up here, day and night, 
down there we’ll let out, frankly and completely.’
 
‘That is,’ said the sophist, with a slow half-smile,
‘if down there they ever talk about such things,
if they can be bothered with the like at all.’ 

Translated by Seamus Heaney

(Seamus Heaney, District and Circle, Faber and Faber, 2006)

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