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Ithaka Summary
Constantine P. Cavafy

Everything you need to understand or teach Ithaka by Constantine P. Cavafy.

  • Ithaka Summary & Study Guide

Ithaka Summary


The first version of "Ithaka" was probably written in 1894. Cavafy revised the poem in 1910, and it was first published in 1911. The first English translation was published in 1924, and there have been a number of different translations since then. The poem can be found in Cavafy's Collected Poems, translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard, edited by George Savidis, Princeton University Press, 1980.

"Ithaka" is an unrhymed poem of five stanzas that employ conversational, everyday language. The narrator, probably a man who has traveled a lot, addresses either Odysseus, the hero of Homer's epic poem the Odyssey, or an imaginary modern traveler or reader. The narrator tells the traveler that what is really important is not Ithaka, the island home that was the goal of Odysseus's years of wandering, but the journey itself. It is the journey that must be fully enjoyed at every moment, using all the resources of senses...

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Ithaka Study Guide

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