C. P. Cavafy (1863-1933). Holograph Manuscript of the Poem, ΑΠΙΣΤΙΑ (distrust).

These two pages of a folded folio sheet contain an autograph fair copy, signed, of this early poem. It was written in May 1903 and published a year later in a periodical. As it is characteristic in Cavafy’s poetry, in this poem the Greek mythological past acts as an aesthetic and ethical background to illustrate the author’s own experience and human nature in general. We learn of the tale of the marriage blessing of Apollo over Thetis and Peleus, in which the god promises a long life to their future son, Achilles. Next, Thetis recalls Apollo’s words as she receives the news of the death of her son at Troy. Questioning where the god was wandering when Achilles was slain, the elders reply to Thetis: “…it was Apollo/ himself who had descended to the city of Troy/and along with the Trojans killed Achilles”.

This manuscript along with historical editions by and on this extraordinary Greek poet are held in the Special Collections Library. They will be on public display during the event, “A Date with Cavafy.”

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Cavafy's poem, Untrust

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Cavafy's poem 2, Untrust

 

Pablo Alvarez
Outreach Librarian & Curator
Special Collections Library

 

Page maintained by Pablo Alvarez
Last modified: 04/29/2013