17. Perceive Things About To Happen
Constantine P. Cavafy
But The Wise Perceive Things About To Happen
For the gods perceive things in the future,
ordinary people things in the present,
but the wise perceive things about to happen.
Philostratos, Life of Apollonios of Tyana, viii, 7
Ordinary mortals know what’s happening now,
the gods know what the future holds
because they alone are totally enlightened.
Wise men are aware of future things
just about to happen.
Sometimes during moments of intense study
their hearing’s troubled: the hidden sound
of things approaching reaches them,
and they listen reverently, while in the street outside
the people hear nothing whatsoever.
Constantine P. Cavafy (1915)
Translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrand