Kleon, rather Ignatios

1. Kleon, rather Ignatios

Constantine P. Cavafy

Tomb of Ignatios

Here I’m not the Kleon famous in Alexandria
(where they’re not easily dazzled)
for my marvellous houses and gardens,
my horses and chariots,
the jewels and silks I wore.
Far from it -here I’m not that Kleon:
his twenty-eight years are to be wiped out.
I’m
Ignatios, lector, who came to his senses very late;
but even so, in that way I lived ten happy months
in the peace, the security of Christ./em>

Constantine P. Cavafy (1917)

Translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrand