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Ithaka Essay

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In the following essay, Beaton discusses the treatment and effect of time in Cavafy's poems.

Solemnly asked his opinion of his own work, C. P. Cavafy towards the end of his life is said to have replied, 'Cavafy in my opinion is an ultra-modern poet, a poet of future generations.' History has proved him right, but the tone of the reply also reveals an important ingredient of the unique poetic voice that is Cavafy's: a gentle mockery of all pretension, even that of the poet interviewed about his own work, and a light-hearted concealment of his true self at the very moment when he appears about to lay his cards on the table. 'Cavafy,' he says, not 'I,' as if 'Cavafy' were someone different.

Cavafy's poetry is distinguished by many subtle forms of irony, and also by an intriguing selfeffacement in poems that purport to...

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This section contains 551 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Ithaka Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Ithaka from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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