As Much As You Can

9. As Much As You Can

Constantine P. Cavafy

As Much As You Can

Even if you can’t shape your life the way you want,
at least try as much as you can
not to degrade it
by too much contact with the world,
by too much activity and talk.

Do not degrade it by dragging it along,
taking it around and exposing it so often
to the daily silliness
of social relations and parties,
until it comes to seem a boring hanger-on.

Constantine P. Cavafy (1913)

Translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrand